It’s hard to imagine that just five months ago, America was a country without a single reported case of COVID-19. Restaurants, hair salons, and schools were still open full of people without masks and less than six feet apart. Now, as we reach the middle of 2020, our country has almost four million confirmed cases with no end in sight. As the confirmed cases and deaths increase, a vaccine is in high demand for many countries. Vaccine research is being taken up by governments, universities, and private companies.
It is estimated that a vaccine will be widely available at the end of this year at the earliest, and at the very beginning of next year at the latest. There are over one hundred potential vaccines for COVID-19 and they are all at various stages of the process. Recently, researchers at Oxford University have moved on to a wider testing phase. Their current vaccine is showing promising results and creating a substantial immune response in human trials. However, they aren’t the only research facility reporting promising results. Many private health researchers are also studying and mastering vaccine trials that countries are really interested in, but at a really steep price.
A relatively new biotechnological company, Novavax, was just awarded a 1.6-billion-dollar contract with the United States government to create a vaccine. Throughout the pandemic the government has awarded a total of four billion dollars to five other vaccine projects. Novavax is looking to use aspects of the current virus to generate helper-T cells in the body to fight it. As the virus becomes more deadly, the government becomes more desperate to find a vaccine regardless of its expense.
Outside of coronavirus vaccine procurements, public health government contracts have extended to medical supplies like ventilators, masks, gloves, needles, and machines. In addition to that veteran’s affairs hospitals and doctor’s offices also require construction and physical upkeep that the government will petition for contracts to address those projects.
About the Author
Jessica Davis is a student at The University of Georgia majoring in International Affairs and Political Science, graduating in May of 2021. Within her university community, she serves as a member of the Arch Society, University Judiciary and a Campus Tour Leader at the UGA Visitor’s Center. Jessica has worked with the Georgia Public Defender Council, the Partnership Against Domestic Violence, and The Women’s Public Leadership Network. She is from Riverdale, Georgia and her interests include criminal justice reform, international diplomacy, and environmental policy reform.