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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

3 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

5 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.