WASHINGTON: The US government is spending more than $5 billion on efforts to speed the development of new COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said. and a Biden administration official said Monday (April 10).
The investment, dubbed “Project NextGen” and first announced by the White House and HHS officials in an interview with the Washington Post, aims to provide better protection from the coronavirus, including Even the virus that causes COVID-19, could become a threat in the future.
“While our vaccines are still very effective at preventing serious illness and death, they are less likely to reduce infection and transmission over time,” an HHS spokesperson said.
“New variants and loss of immunity over time may continue to challenge our healthcare systems in the years to come.”
The administration of President Joe Biden will spend a minimum of US$5 billion to work with the private sector, an approach similar to that of the “Campaign Speed” project under former President Donald Trump. Trump aims to accelerate vaccine development and distribution by 2020.
“Project NextGen will accelerate and streamline the rapid development of the next generation of vaccines and treatments through a public-private partnership,” the administration official said.
“A minimum investment of $5 billion will help advance scientific progress in areas of great public health benefit to the American people, with the goal of developing safe and effective for the American people.”
The project, located at HHS, will work with the government and the private sector to promote a new system of vaccines and treatments, a spokesperson for HHS said. It will cover all stages of development from laboratory research and clinical trials to delivery.
It will focus on creating long-lasting monoclonal antibodies against new COVID-19 variants as well as broader vaccines that can protect against several different coronaviruses.
The project also seeks to speed up the development of vaccines that induce mucosal immunity and can be administered intranasally, with the hope that they could significantly reduce the rate of infection and transmission.