The Race for the Right Vaccine is On

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Harry C. Alford and Kay DeBow

Beyond the Rhetoric

Harry C. Alford & Kay DeBow

According to Alex Carcidi, financial blogger at Motley Fool, (TM Carcidi):

“With the coronavirus pandemic gripping the world, governments every- where are desperate to speed up the discovery of a vaccine. In the U.S., since May, this dire need has been addressed by a vaccine accelerator project called Operation Warp Speed (OWS), which subsidizes public and private companies to the tune of billions of dollars, to incentivize vaccine development at the fastest possible pace.”

Given the high stakes and the formidable impact of the program’s grants, savvy healthcare investors looking to create a portfolio of coronavirus stocks need to learn about Operation Warp Speed and its implications for the global vaccine race.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which sponsors the program, Operation Warp Speed aims to “deliver 300 million doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 by January 2021, as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.”

HHS runs the accelerator with the help of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a lesser-known government organization responsible for developing vaccines or therapies for novel epidemics and bioweapon attacks.

So far, it’s thought that OWS has funded at least nine independent coronavirus vaccine efforts and a smattering of related projects, with awards split almost evenly between large pharmas and clinical-stage biotech companies.

Most investors know big pharma participants like Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:INJ), whereas biotechs like Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX), and Vaxart (NASDAQ:VXRT) are newcomers to the limelight created by the program.

Most of the biotech companies funded by OWS have no products with regulatory approval for sale, but that hasn’t stopped them from getting large infusions of cash. Moderna received $500 million from the program, and Novavax accepted a stunning $1.6 billion award. These OWS grants have been favorable for investors, with stocks skyrocketing on news of each company’s selection for the program.”

To call the above “High Stakes Poker” would be a complete understatement. President Trump knows his future is on the line and many nations know the risks of “Hit or Miss.” Either we will soar to the top of the “Science Poll” or fall into total failure and disgrace. History shows that when America enters such a contest we usually win. So with the thought that God is on our side, we go in – FULL BLAST – and pray for the best to happen. Like the race to the moon, atom bomb, polio, etc. we have the faith and courage to proceed.

Let us not waver in our confidence and faith. God has blessed this nation many times when the “crossroads” were before us. There is no reason to not have the same faith as in the past. We must win!

First, let’s look at the competition. There are nations that have little responsibility and integrity. This may cause us to waste precious time and funding, but never shall we waver in our hope. The biggest “bandit” is the Republic of China. There is nothing this “pirate of a nation” will not do to try and get the upper hand on others who are in this competition. It will lie, cheat, steal, kill and anything else a devil-like government will do to get ahead. Don’t worry, God does not like “ugly.” There are more than a few ugly acting nations that will not even consider playing “by the rules.” Brazil, Vietnam, Russia are just some of the other “rogues.” There are trillions of dollars at stake and may the honest and prudent interest succeed above the others.

When will the right vaccine or vaccines appear? If we are lucky and brave, there may just be a very happy and merry Christmas for the civilized world.

Our Congress must be brave and finance the above endeavors such as investing more money into the “PPP” funding. Our labs and schools shall not go broke in the middle of “cracking open” the next winning solution. Financing, bravery, faith, and vision will be some of the key ingredients in making a very successful year of 2021.

It is without doubt that we are experiencing one of the worst medical challenges in history. To defeat it, it will take some of the best preparation and courage to meet the challenges as they appear one by one.

We cannot waver and must put our resources into the right places. After all, we are being led by Donald F. Trump who happens to be one of the most courageous leaders who ever walked this earth. Let us pray for his continued success and leadership. Faith, Hope and Charity shall be the “winning hand.” God is on our side!

Mr. Alford is the Co-Founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®. Ms. DeBow is the Co-Founder, Executive Vice President of the Chamber. Website: www.nationalbcc.org Emails: halford@nationalbcc.org kdebow@nationalbcc.org.

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