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Anthony Fauci speaks at a Feb. 7 press conference on coronavirus developments. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

A leading U.S. health official said Tuesday it's "very frustrating" that no major drug firm has yet offered to make a vaccine against the novel coronavirus that the National Institutes of Health is helping develop, STAT News reports.

Why it matters: When outbreaks of new worrisome pathogens start, governments may immediately start working on diagnostics, vaccines and treatments, but they also need a buy-in from drug companies that sometimes get burned if the outbreak suddenly peters out or the drug isn't successful.

Details: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci said on a panel hosted by STAT and the Aspen Institute that it'd take "at least a year" before a coronavirus vaccine could become available — and that's assuming a pharmaceutical manufacturing giant were to produce the product.

  • Fauci noted that although the NIH had partnered with Moderna to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, a large manufacturer would be needed to "take on the risky venture of manufacturing the product if it is successful in human testing," according to an S&P Global report of the panel discussion.
  • "The companies that have the skill to be able to do it ... [are] going to have to stop making polio vaccines, measles vaccines, hepatitis vaccines to put your particular product in," Fauci said, per S&P Global.

The big picture: Several U.S. pharmaceutical firms have said they're working on their own vaccines against the new coronavirus, which has killed over 1,1100 people and infected more than 45,000 others — mostly in mainland China. These include Inovio, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, according to the State Department.

What they're saying: Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies would "further expedite its investigational coronavirus vaccine program" in collaboration with HHS'' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

  • "This partnership will ensure that vital research is made possible at rapid speed and underscores the importance of public-private partnerships to tackle the worldwide novel coronavirus epidemic," Paul Stoffels, vice chairman of the executive committee and chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson, said in a statement.
  • "We are also in discussions with other partners, that if we have a vaccine candidate with potential, we aim to make it accessible to China and other parts of the world."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 28 mins ago - Health

2 federal judges temporarily block Biden vaccine mandates

President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant at the White House on Nov. 29. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

The Biden administration was temporarily blocked from enforcing COVID-19 vaccine mandates for millions of workers by federal judges in two states on Tuesday.

The big picture: The orders, by federal judges in Kentucky and Louisiana, come one day after a federal judge in Missouri halted the mandate, which has a Jan. 4 deadline, in 10 states.

59 mins ago - World

Honduras elects first female president

Honduran President-elect Xiomara Castro, of the Libertad y Refundacion (Libre) Party, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on Sunday. Photo: Inti Ocon/Getty Images

Former Honduras first lady Xiomara Castro is set to become the country's first female president president, after the ruling party conceded defeat in the country's elections on Tuesday night, per AP.

Why it matters: The democratic socialist and her Libre Party have broken a 12-year run for the conservative National Party, which U.S. prosecutors alleged fostered a "narco-state," note Axios' Latinos' Marina E. Franco and Russell Contreras.

Food delivery "ghost kitchens" face major obstacles

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The growing popularity of food delivery has given rise to startups that open "ghost kitchens" — kitchens in warehouses or trailers that prepare food solely for delivery and have no option to dine in.

  • But they can come with a whole host of problems.

The big picture: The concept of "ghost kitchens" has been dubbed the next big thing in the future of services, with high profile backers like Uber founder Travis Kalanick. But these kitchens can be hard to run or unsafe.