The world still needs more — and better — Covid-19 vaccines. But a major hurdle stands in the way of the development of new vaccines, as well as the critical studies needed to determine the best way to use these important tools, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) warned in a letter published Tuesday in the journal Nature.
Unless countries that have purchased vaccine doses and companies that have already brought vaccines into use agree to find ways to resolve the problem, manufacturers that trail the first wave of producers may not be able to prove that their vaccines work. Not only will that slow efforts to vaccinate the planet, it will block development of next-generation vaccines, and it will stymie efforts to answer key public health questions, like whether boosting with a different vaccine would generate better protection, or whether giving smaller — fractional — doses could protect more people more quickly.
The letter was signed by CEPI’s director of vaccine research and development, Melanie Saville.
In an interview with STAT, CEPI’s U.S. director, Nicole Lurie, said the organization has been trying for months to break the logjam, to no avail. “We’re going round and round in circles.”