There are efforts in place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most know that these efforts include the common guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), such as wearing face masks, practicing social distancing and proper hygiene at all times. But it remains that this will not make the coronavirus go away. It will remain out there and the only way to bring it down is to have a working vaccine available.
The past months have seen increased efforts to try and come up with one. There have been some drugs suggested but none have come close to proving to be entirely effective. Worse, they even carry some deadly side effects that pose a serious risk to the health of an individual. Hence, the only way is to increase efforts and funding is key to making it happen. It appears that is what the United States government is doing right now, reportedly investing more than $3 billion to come up with a working COVID-19 cure, CNN reported.
It would be best to note that the initiative is enormous. It is more than half the annual budget of Vermont and close to what Louisiana spends on Medicaid patients in a year. However, it is something that may prove to be a wise investment. A COVID-19 vaccine is the only way to address the pandemic that has already claimed many lives.
This explains where the U.S. taxpayers will be headed in select regions. Six vaccine makers will receive funding, the amount of which varies and depends on how much taxes are being paid in those areas. Most know that there will be ups and downs in efforts to produce a virus, a reality that groups from around the world are experiencing. But given the COVID-19 situation right now, it is the best way to invest in for the good of all.
To get a better overview of how much is being distributed, here are some numbers and where they are going:
- $1.2 billion to AstraZeneca
- $456 million to Johnson & Johnson
- $430 million to Moderna
- $60 million to Novavax
- $38 million to Merck
- $30 million to Sanofi
Of the mentioned groups, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna are gearing up or somewhere in Phase 3 of trials. Novavax has not yet started human clinical trials, same with Merck. Sanofi intends to start its clinical trials somewhere between October and December of this year.
Adding up those numbers, that accounts for roughly just $2.2 billion. The remaining $783 million is allocated to three companies that can come up with vaccines that get approved by the FDA. These companies are Emergent BioSolutions, SiO2 Materials Science and Ology Bioservices.