Governor Hogan tours COVID-19 vaccine developer


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GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WDVM) — Maryland Governor Hogan paid a visit to Novavax in Gaithersburg on Thursday to check in on progress being made for a possible coronavirus vaccine.

Novavax Inc. has recently reached stage two of clinical trials in the U.S. and are about to enter phase three trials in the UK and India for vaccine development.

“This is the center of vaccine development for coronavirus in the world right now,” Novavax President and CEO Stanley Erck said.

Erck said COVID-19 is a global disease, so they are looking to create a vaccine to supply both the United States and the world.

“I don’t think it’s sufficient that we have a vaccine that is just used for the United States,” Erck said. “To protect the United States, you need to protect the world. It’s a global economy and that’s what we’re doing.”

CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization in Washington, D.C Michelle McMurry-Heath says they are impressed with the nation’s biotechnology companies who have transitioned their focus to vaccine development since the pandemic began.

“Hats off to the efforts here today, and we’re looking forward to seeing what’s coming out of the impending clinical trials,” McMurry-Heath said. “Because the early results look very promising.”

Governor hogan said in accordance with CDC guidelines, the vaccine will be made available immediately to Marylanders deemed most at-risk like front-line healthcare workers.

“Advanced planning is currently underway at the Maryland Department of Health,” Hogan said. “For the ordering, acquiring, distributing and administering a vaccine just as soon as it becomes available.”

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