US to Provide 1 Billion Doses of Unproven COVID-19 Vaccine

Federal funding to make available 1 billion doses of unproven COVID-19 vaccine.

Unproven COVID-19 Vaccine
Federal funding to provide 1 billion doses of Unproven COVID-19 Vaccine. PHOTO/Shutterstock

Federal funding to provide 1 billion doses of Unproven COVID-19 Vaccine. Even before the coronavirus was given a name, Moderna, a Cambridge, Massachusetts biotech company, took notice. 

On January 11, the second COVID-19 gene sequence was released, and the company worked around the clock to deliver a new vaccine design in only 48 hours. 

A month later, Moderna sent its vaccine candidate to the National Institutes of Health. The whole process has moved at a record pace, with the first human trials beginning in early March.

Moderna has blown rivals out of the water when it comes to their effectiveness in getting this drug through design and manufacturing. Most vaccines take years to develop, but given the nature of the epidemic, CEO Stephen Panzel says there is no time to spare.

The turning point for Moderna

Moderna is a relatively young company, founded in 2010. It does not have any drugs on the market yet, although it has two dozen developments. Until very recently, Moderna was a play about mRNA that the company specialized in, not a household name.

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Last year, despite being highly valued, the company did not sell any products at great cost. Moderna’s market capitalization was $17.5 billion, while its losses reached $514 million in revenues of $60 million.

Moderna’s performance during the COVID-19 pandemic has been of great value to investors. Its share price soared, rising from $19.81 on January 2 to $59.88 May 8. 

Cooperation between Moderna and the Federal Government

The biotech company has worked with the government before on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) vaccine. Now they are working closely with national allergies and infectious diseases to quickly diagnose the COVID-19 vaccine.

The US government has announced that it will provide Moderna $500 million to fund its vaccine development. Also, the FDA has offered Moderna and BioTech to launch human testing before animal testing is complete. Considering the severity of the COVID-19 situation, compressed tests are a necessary risk.

What are the benefits of mRNA vaccines?

The most important feature of mRNA vaccines is that they take much less time to develop than traditional vaccines. Second, the type of vaccines we commonly find is not 100% effective. 

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For example, it is very common for someone who has a fever to manage the flu. Most vaccines aim at herd immunity rather than 100% protection from the target disease.

Third, you are unlikely to get COVID-19 from the mRNA vaccine that targets the virus. Traditional vaccines work by introducing your body too weak or inactive versions of the targeted virus. 

The mRNA vaccines instead inject a genetic code into the body, which then stimulates your cells to produce certain parts of the virus, which in turn stimulates your body’s immune system.

With this method, no foreign virus is placed in the body, so the vaccine does not make you sick. The risk of doing this with a traditional vaccine is very low, however, it is possible and with a virus like the Coronavirus novel, health officials will not take that opportunity.

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