The US just bought 400 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine that may never exist

It’s hard to imagine anything that could matter more to the future (and present) of the global economy than a coronavirus vaccine, and the US is betting hard one is going to be available soon.

Although US president Donald Trump’s hopes that a vaccine would be ready for widespread use by the end of the year (if not earlier, as he had previously suggested) is unlikely to come true, several pharmaceutical companies have encouraging early results, and have started testing potential vaccines.

Through its  Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the US has invested heavily in several vaccine development programs, doling out over $2.1 billion to pharmaceutical companies—both US-based and international—working on coronavirus vaccine development. So far, the grants are supporting vaccine development, testing, and scaling of production.

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