US Government To Pay $500 Million For Studies On New Oral & Nasal Covid Vaccines

The US government has committed to providing up to $500 million towards the development and clinical trials of new oral and nasal vaccines for COVID-19.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) announced the funding boost on Thursday.

They will be paying for mid-stage trials as part of Project NextGen, a $5 billion project led by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop new COVID vaccines and therapeutics.

InfoWars reports: Over $450 million was awarded to Vaxart for a study to evaluate its oral COVID vaccine, and Castlevax and Cyanvac were awarded $34 million and $40 million respectively for their intranasal vaccines.

Each vaccine will be tested in trials involving 10,000 volunteers. The safety and efficacy of the new vaccines will be compared to existing FDA-licensed vaccines.

“Currently approved Covid-19 vaccines are administered intramuscularly and, while extremely effective, are limited in their capacity to induce a robust immune response in mucosal areas such as the mouth, nose and gut, where the SARS-CoV-2 virus first enters the body,” the HHS said.

Project NextGen was launched last May by the HHS as a successor to Operation Warp Speed, which produced the first generation of vaccines and therapeutics during the pandemic. Hundreds of millions of dollars have already been paid out to biotech and pharma companies.

The Project has a fraction of the funding of Operation Warp Speed and the government will not be committed to bulk purchases of any vaccines or therapeutics that are successfully developed.

“As the virus continues to evolve, we need new tools that keep pace with those changes,” said Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell, in a statement announcing the Project, last year.

“Project NextGen combines the research and development expertise at HHS with the lessons we have learned about the virus throughout the pandemic—strengthening our preparedness for whatever comes next.”

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