$36.6 million recently awarded to academic institutions to develop a coronavirus vaccine that protects against multiple coronaviruses
Boston (November 23, 2021) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today sent a letter to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) querying the agency about its ongoing efforts to design and produce a universal coronavirus vaccine. This September, NIAID announced awards of $36.3 million to academic institutions to conduct research that will help develop a coronavirus vaccine that protects against multiple types of coronaviruses. Over last 18 years, there have been three novel coronavirus outbreaks – SARS, MERS, and SARS-CoV-2. To date, more than five million people worldwide have lost their lives to the coronavirus, 740,000 in the United States, and millions more are fighting this deadly virus every day.
“Had a universal coronavirus vaccine existed at the onset of the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of American lives could have been saved,” wrote Senator Markey. “And we remain at risk of variants that have the potential to defeat the immunity provided by existing vaccines. A vaccine that targets coronaviruses as a class would likely be less susceptible to these variants.”
A copy of Senator Markey’s letter can be found HERE.
Earlier this year, Senator Markey reintroduced legislation to support comprehensive research for the creation of a universal coronavirus vaccine or therapeutic. The legislation calls for a total investment of $1 billion – $250 million for fiscal years 2021 through 2024 – for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health.