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A different type of COVID-19 vaccine is about to roll out around the world

Excerpt from the Press Release:

Whatever happened to Novavax and Sanofi’s COVID-19 vaccines? Many people thought at the beginning of the pandemic that these were the two most likely vaccines to succeed.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A new kind of COVID-19 vaccine is about to roll out around the world. It’s called a protein subunit vaccine. Early on in the pandemic, many experts thought this was the kind of vaccine that would be most likely to succeed, and so far, it hasn’t. NPR’s Joe Palca has this story about why it’s taken so long for these vaccines to be ready for distribution and why they’re still needed.

JOE PALCA, BYLINE: When Operation Warp Speed began spending billions of dollars to facilitate the development of a COVID vaccine, it chose three vaccine technologies to back – mRNA vaccines being developed by Pfizer and Moderna, viral vector vaccines like Johnson & Johnson and protein subunit vaccines being made by Sanofi and Novavax. The first two technologies were successful, mRNA vaccines wildly successful, and there are now billions of vaccine doses in this country and around the world. A year ago, Novavax was confident its proteins subunit vaccine would also be out there. Here’s Greg Glenn, Novavax president of research and development, in an interview we did in September last year.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

GREG GLENN: We have a massive number of people working on scaling up our vaccine. I am very optimistic by the end of the year we’ll have a lot of product and, you know, we’re talking about more than 2 billion doses in 2021.

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