The coronavirus or COVID-19 virus took normality away from us. Society, at large, now focuses on how quick a vaccine can be found.
Huge efforts are being made to find one. Companies on all continents fight with the challenges, while governments make sure that the needed funding is available. Everything at this point becomes secondary in importance.
As a result of the virus affecting economic growth, a solution to it is mandatory. Otherwise, the risk is that the economic recession turns into depression sooner rather than later.
Over 200 Vaccine Candidates Already Exist
More precisely, there are 231 vaccine candidates in various stages, four months after the virus reached the Western world. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine tracks all of them and monitors the way they pass the various trial phases.
China is, by far, the country that invested the most in finding a cure. With $143 billion, it dwarfs the efforts made by other countries. As such, it comes as no surprise that in the third phase of clinical trials, there are three Chinese funded potential vaccines – one developed by Sinovac, one by Sinopharm, and one by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products.
AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford recently announced promising results on their vaccine. Still, in the third phase of the clinical trial, the potential cure is the first one in the developed world close to being produced.
Also, no one can ignore the U.S. pharma giants and their efforts in finding a cure for the virus. Moderna, Johnson&Johnson, or Pfizer, are all implicated in this race against the clock too.
Europeans have their own pipelines as well. It seems that a breakdown is possible sooner rather than later, for a single reason – there has never been a time in history when every single party involved in the process has the same interest.
And then there is Russia. It announced yesterday that it registered its first COVID-19 vaccine.
All these efforts will not be in vain. Markets, as well as governments, are well-aware of the importance of finding not any solution, but the solution to the disease.
Until then, optimism dominates. Fueled by progress in the development of a cure, investors bid for the stock market, sending the Dow Jones close to all-time highs.
In other words, it seems that investors want to avoid being caught out of the market when the news of a vaccine hits the wires. So far, the Russian-announced vaccine sent Dow Jones over 28k. Where will it go on a similar announcement from the United States?