Payrolls spark hope for a fast rebound as Novavax gets a boost in vaccine race

Stunning news that the U.S. economy added over 2.5 million jobs in May fanned hopes for a rapid rebound, and fed into growing optimism about cities and states relaxing the coronavirus-related restrictions that have hobbled activity and crushed the jobs market.

Friday’s non-farm payrolls report, which showed the U.S. unemployment rate unexpectedly dropping to 13.3%, boosted the market’s growing belief that the economy would rebound sooner rather than later. It also shed new light on the impact of states reopening their economies, despite ongoing concerns about a resurgence in COVID-19 infections.

However, ongoing protests against the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of police officers have resulted in riots and damaged businesses. The mass demonstrations taking place across America have also worried public health officials that the virus could see a dreaded second wave — especially with infections outside of New York, the U.S.’s largest COVID hot

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HHS moves to boost coronavirus case tracking; AstraZeneca expands vaccine deals

The U.S. Health and Human Services department released new guidelines on Thursday to improve tracking of positive coronavirus cases in the country — with a focus on identifying inequities and directing resources as more states relax their lockdowns.

Testing for COVID-19 infections in the U.S. have been a sore point, but have improved gradually as the restrictive stay-at-home orders are eased. The HHS’s new guidelines include requiring laboratories to submit zip code, age, race/ethnicity and gender, along with the positive result.

For at-home collection, which has recently seen increasing support through FDA authorizations, the new rules also apply.

“The laboratory must be able to collect the required information for reporting, so the process for sample collection should include submission of the data elements,” according to HHS.

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), briefed a U.S. House subcommittee Thursday, as pressure mounts for the

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How Novavax is pulling out all the stops to produce a coronavirus vaccine by next year

Novavax (NVAX), the latest company to enter the increasingly crowded field to produce a coronavirus vaccine, is juggling multiple pieces in order to meet an aggressive development timeline, CEO Stanley Erck explained to Yahoo Finance on Thursday.

This week, the drug giant entered into clinical trials in Australia, making it one of a dozen companies to do so out of more than 100 existing vaccine candidates. Like other drug candidates, Novavax’s experimental treatment is being produced at risk in order to meet unprecedented demand, with the COVID-19 crisis sickening nearly 6 million worldwide, and killing over 350,000.

Experts say the chances for a successful vaccine materializing this year are aspirational at best. Yet if all goes according to plan, Novavax anticipates being able to produce 100 million doses in 2020, mostly for frontline workers, and 1 billion doses by 2021.

The company relied on pre-clinical data to inform its decision

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Novartis enters vaccine race as reopenings, testing efforts ramp up

Pharmaceutical companies on Thursday continued their pursuit of a breakthrough in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, which set a grim new milestone even as states and cities forge ahead with plans to relax the lockdowns that are crippling the U.S. economy.

The global COVID-19 case count keeps climbing topping 5.7 million with more than 356,000 dead. The U.S. accounts for nearly a third of those deaths, with diagnoses closing in on 1.7 million nationally on a death toll that topped 100,000 on Wednesday.

The casualties will likely mount until a vaccine is found — which experts say will take at least another year. However, aggressive efforts by some of the biggest names in the pharmaceutical industry have ramped up expectations for a timeline, which have boosted markets in the face of grim economic news.

“As we start to focus on transitioning and coming back online into the workplace, that

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12-18 month coronavirus vaccine timeline ‘is extremely optimistic’

As the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues, the search for a vaccine is not slowing down.

Back in March, President Trump stated that a vaccine could be available in three to four months. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said that a 12 to 18 month timeline was more realistic.

But even that timeframe could be overstating it, according to Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor at the George Washington University School of Public Health. 

“I think 12 to 18 months is extremely optimistic,” Wen said recently on Yahoo Finance’s The Ticker. “I hope that all the pieces align. It will certainly be the fastest that we’ve ever done this.”

The U.S. death count from coronavirus has now passed 100,000. (Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)

‘You want to make sure … it’s safe’

Dr. Wen is not

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