Baltimore Sun – Maryland-based Novavax’s effort to vaccinate the world, from zero to not quite warp speed: ‘This takes time and expertise’

On a sweltering June morning, Novavax CEO and COVID vaccine maker Stanley Erck stood on a stage unmasked and did something that would have been unthinkable six months ago: He shook hands with Maryland’s governor.

Erck was with Gov. Larry Hogan to announce Novavax’s global vaccine headquarters ― a Gaithersburg campus expected to house laboratories and more than 800 employees. Hogan called Novavax’s future “bright” and crowed that more than 71% of the state’s adults had received at least one shot.

None of those was a Novavax vaccine, which remains unavailable for the American public due to delayed clinical trial results and other difficulties. Hogan, for his part, received his first vaccine dose ― made by fellow biotech upstart Moderna ― in January.

“As you can imagine, we’re eager to receive our own,” said John Trizzino, Novavax’s chief commercial officer and interim chief financial officer.

Its two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, which showed overall 90.4% efficacy in key U.S. and Mexico trials, has yet to be authorized.

“In the meantime,” Trizzino said, “we’ve had to use one of the existing licensed vaccines and we look forward to the booster” made by Novavax.

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