The Washington Post
Fund the future’s vaccines
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.