The sprint to create a COVID-19 vaccine started in January. The finish line awaits.
For five days, the FedEx plane sat on the tarmac in Shanghai. American scientists at Novavax, a biotech company in suburban Maryland, waited with increasing impatience. The plane held a copy of a key gene from the newly discovered coronavirus. Novavax needed the gene to try to develop a vaccine. The scientists had been in similar situations before. Every time a new disease came along – SARS, MERS, Ebola – they made candidate vaccines to see whether they could tame it. They th