More Covid-19 vaccine candidate in the pipeline as US effort ramps up

More Covid-19 vaccine candidate in the pipeline as US effort ramps up
Ellie Basham, Executive Director at Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash., being vaccinated by a pharmacist for CVS outside the Center in Kirkland, Wash. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: A major US study of another coronavirus vaccine candidate got underway on Monday as the nation continues to roll out scarce supplies of the first Covid-19 shots to a nation anxiously awaiting relief from the catastrophic pandemic.

Public health experts say more options in addition to the two vaccines now being distributed across the nation — one made by Moderna and other by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech — are critical to amassing enough shots for the country and the world.

The vaccine candidate is made by Novavax Inc. is the fifth to reach final-stage testing in the US. Some 30,000 volunteers are needed to prove if the vaccine — a different kind than its Moderna and Pfizer competitors — really works and is safe.

On Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, told AP: “If you want to have enough vaccine to vaccinate all the people in the US who you’d like to vaccinate — up to 85% or more of the population — you’re going to need more than two companies.”

The coronavirus claimed about 1.8 million lives worldwide, including more than 330,000 in the United States. This has been the deadliest month of the outbreak in the country yet, with according to the COVID Tracking Project, about 65,000 deaths in December so far. The US has repeatedly recorded more than 3,000 dead per day over the past few weeks.

And the country could be facing a terrible winter: Despite warnings to stay home and avoid outer activities, nearly 1.3 million people went through the country’s airports on Sunday, the highest one-day total since the crisis took hold in the United States nine months ago.

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