Texas A&M has been selected by the federal government to mass produce COVID-19 vaccines as part of Operation Warp Speed.
On Monday, July 27, the Texas A&M University System announced in a news release that the federal government has partnered with A&M’s Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM) in a new $265 million program to mass produce COVID-19 vaccines until the end of 2021. The federal government reserved one of FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ (FDB) bio-manufacturing facilities in College Station — which are a part of the CIADM program — in a move to tap federal funds that had been allocated for emergency use.
“We are being called upon to help manufacture millions of vaccine doses to immunize people against COVID-19,” System Chancellor John Sharp said in an email announcement on Monday. “We’re ready to play a vital role in fighting this pandemic as part of Operation Warp Speed.”
The new program was announced on July 27 by President Donald Trump at a visit to FDB’s production facility in North Carolina. According to the Houston Chronicle, Trump called College Station “quite the place.”
“In College Station, Texas, Monday, I am proud to announce [Health and Human Services’] award to the Fujifilm Texas A&M Innovation Center,” Trump said.
The program, which could help manufacture up to 100 million vaccine doses, will focus production on NVX‑CoV2373, Novavax, Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate. NVX‑CoV2373 production has already begun for clinical trials at FDB’s North Carolina facility, according to an article in the Austin-American Statesman. Production will shift to College Station by the end of 2020. During President Trump’s visit he revered the U.S.’s progress on vaccine manufacturing, according to the Statesman.
“We will achieve a victory over the virus by unleashing America’s scientific genius,” Trump said.