As coronavirus spreads, military works to develop vaccine

USAMRDC Supporting COVID-19
Posted at 12:15 PM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 16:25:41-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread globally, the United States military is working to develop a vaccine.

Brigadier General Michael Talley, commander of Army Medical Research and Development Command told reporters at a Pentagon briefing that researchers are working across the government to detect, prevent, and treat COVID-19 coronavirus.

"When it comes to infectious disease threats, we have extensive capabilities and an international research infrastructure already in place that allow our scientists to anticipate and develop countermeasures against emerging infectious diseases," Talley said.

"In addition to vaccine prevention, we are also exploring treatments. Efforts are ongoing right now to identify new drug candidates to respond to the COVID-19 infection," he went on.

The military says it is working closely with other government agencies and partners to ensure there is no duplication in efforts.

"From the first day that the sequences of the new viruses were published, we were working on this vaccine and we were doing so in coordination with our interagency partners at the NIH, specifically the Vaccine Research Center," Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, director of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research said.

Researchers are currently working a coronavirus sample from a patient in Washington State.

That sample is allowing researchers to culture and grow the virus so they can test products with it and and do a characterization to learn how it impacts the host and how our immune systems respond.