Attention Focused On Distribution Of COVID Vaccines
As drugmakers race to develop a vaccine, exactly how those vaccines will be manufactured and delivered to Americans is also being planned. In other vaccine news: Johnson & Johnson moves to human trials of its vaccine. And a Moderna board member resigns.
Vaccine Distribution Will Be ‘Joint Venture’ Between CDC And Pentagon
Nationwide distribution of any coronavirus vaccine will be a “joint venture” between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which typically oversees vaccine allocation, and the Department of Defense, a senior administration official said today. The Department of Defense “is handling all the logistics of getting the vaccines to the right place, at the right time, in the right condition,” the official said in a call with reporters, adding that CDC will remain in charge of tracking any side effects that emerge post-vaccination and “some of the communications through the state relationships [and] the state public health organizations.” (Owermohle, 7/30)
The Wall Street Journal:
Drugmakers Race To Build Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Chains
Pharmaceutical companies that are racing to develop vaccines for the coronavirus are already working behind the scenes to build the supply chains needed to deliver their drugs to billions of people as rapidly as possible. To serve global demand once a vaccine is approved, a complicated and high-stakes supply chain would kick into gear on a scale that the drug industry has rarely seen. The preparations involve lining up raw materials and factory capacity to manufacture a vaccine in large volumes, and the equipment needed to transport many millions of doses at once through distribution channels that will be subject to tight security and temperature controls. (Chen, 7/30)
The New York Times:
Old Vaccines May Stop The Coronavirus, Study Hints. Scientists Are Skeptical.
Billions of dollars are being invested in the development of vaccines against the coronavirus. Until one arrives, many scientists have turned to tried-and-true vaccines to see whether they may confer broad protection, and may reduce the risk of coronavirus infection, as well. Old standbys like the Bacille Calmette-Guerin tuberculosis vaccine and the polio vaccine appear to help train the immune system to respond to a broad variety of infections, including from bacteria, viruses and parasites, experts say. (Caryn Rabin, 7/29)
Johnson & Johnson Sees Promising COVID-19 Vaccine Results After Testing On Monkeys
The pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson took a step forward with its COVID-19 vaccine candidate Thursday, releasing promising data after testing on monkeys and at the same time announcing the start of clinical testing on humans. According to results published in the scientific journal Nature, scientists found that the vaccine appeared to protect a group of monkeys that were vaccinated, and then later deliberately exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. The monkeys that were not vaccinated became sick with the infection. (Salzman, 7/30)
Prominent Hospital Leader Resigns From Moderna Board
Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said Thursday she was resigning from Moderna’s board of directors after the Globe inquired about whether her role at the Cambridge biotech company was a conflict of interest with her hospital’s participation in a large study of Moderna’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine that just got underway. The hospital said in a statement Thursday that when Nabel joined Moderna’s board in 2015, Brigham and Women’s parent company put several guardrails in place to prevent a conflict of interest. More safeguards were imposed when the hospital was named one of 87 clinical sites for the late-stage trial trial that began Monday, it said. (Saltzman, 7/30)