Pharmaceutical company Merck is throwing away its shot. After initial trials of its two COVID-19 vaccines found they provide less-than-effective immunization, the company will discontinue its development, instead focusing on manufacturing drugs for treatment of the virus, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. “It doesn’t appear that our responses are numerically on par with what you would see either following natural infection or what we’ve been seeing,” Nick Kartsonis, head of Merck’s vaccine development, told the Journal. In the United States, two COVID-19 vaccines—produced by Pfizer and Moderna—have already been approved by the FDA for use, but distribution has fallen well short of expectations. Three other vaccines, produced by AstraZeneca, Janssen, and Novavax, are currently awaiting clinical trial results, according to the CDC’s website.
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