It’s time to join forces for COVID-19 vaccines

Vaccine development
Multiple COVID-19 vaccines are in development. (Johnson & Johnson via YouTube)

Unprecedented collaborations involving the biotech industry and government agencies are urgently needed to develop and produce the billions of doses of vaccine that will be needed to stop the coronavirus pandemic, four public-health pioneers declare.

The experts behind the call to action, published today by the journal Science, include Larry Corey, a past president and director of Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and a professor in its vaccine and infectious disease division.

Corey’s co-authors are Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; John Mascola, director of NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center; and Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

Their essay holds up a public-private partnership known as Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Innovations and Vaccines, or ACTIV, as a model for the collaboration that’ll be needed to address the coronavirus challenge.

“We’re experiencing a series of unprecedented events with a disease that has spread globally and infected more people in a shorter time than any other infection in modern times,” Corey said in a news release. “In order to overcome the challenges in front of us, we each need to bring nothing short of our absolute best.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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