The Washington Post

Fund the future’s vaccines

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We applaud the July 8 editorial highlighti­ng the need for a more durable, long-lasting and variant-resistant vaccine for the coronaviru­s, “The worst virus variant just arrived.”

Our three biotech companies, which have joined to form the Next-gen Vaccine Alliance, specialize in developing vaccines to fight infectious diseases. Though we are each working at breakneck speed to develop a next-generation vaccine to fight the coronaviru­s and its variants, we are largely alone in this fight.

The fight against the virus relied so heavily on developing MRNA vaccines that government investment into nextgenera­tion vaccines halted. Beginning in August 2020 and continuing now, the federal agency responsibl­e for supporting advanced next-generation vaccines shuttered its program and remains closed because our government has failed to fund this vital research.

As the editorial rightfully noted, MRNA vaccines are not as durable as hoped, cannot keep pace with mutating variants and cannot block forward transmissi­on. Given this, the government must invest in next-generation vaccines if it wants to protect American families.

If we don’t do this, we will never deliver the knockout punch Americans need to beat the coronaviru­s.

Seth Lederman, Chatham, N.J. The writer is chief executive of Tonix Pharmaceut­icals. David A. Dodd, Atlanta The writer is chairman and chief executive of Geovax. Andrei Floroiu, San Francisco The writer is chief executive of Vaxart.

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