Skip to content
The Coronavirus Vaccines Will Likely Work. Making Them Fast Will Be Hard.

Some companies are developing vaccines that will likely be easier to mass produce than Pfizer’s and Moderna’s, but they have paused their clinical trials for safety reasons.

AstraZeneca said it had manufactured enough of its vaccine to meet its promise of hundreds of millions of doses by January, but a six-week pause in its trial meant that it probably wouldn’t get data on the performance of its vaccine in time to win federal authorization for its use this year.

The company’s chief executive, Pascal Soriot, recently told investors that it would fill the vials once it had a clearer picture of when the vaccine, which requires two doses, could be approved. “As soon as you turn this vaccine into vials, the shelf life starts ticking,” he said.

The vaccine maker Novavax — which had robust results in early studies and said it could supply the world with more than two billion doses next yearhad to delay a large clinical trial by at least a month in part because of problems manufacturing tens of thousands of doses needed for the trial. The company has a $1.6 billion deal with the federal government to develop and manufacture its vaccine, which requires two doses.

In a statement, a Novavax spokeswoman said, “There are a number of things that can slow a trial start from the ideal plan, and it’s an immensely complex undertaking.” She said the company was ramping up manufacturing around the world.

Johnson & Johnson, which started its clinical trial in September, later than its competitors, has said it is on track to manufacture 100 million doses of its single-dose vaccine by March and a billion by the end of next year. Its executives have said they do not expect trial results until early next year.

Still, even seasoned manufacturers can experience setbacks. Mr. Yadav, the supply chain expert, pointed to a shortage of flu vaccines in 2004, when a major manufacturer announced that 50 million doses, or half of the national supply for the United States, had been contaminated. “Those are risks that we will have to keep in mind,” he said.

Source link