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The Coronavirus’ Effect on the Health Care Industry, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

The Coronavirus outbreak caused havoc within many parts of the health care sector.  Elective surgeries and doctor visits were curtailed, while telemedicine boomed.  Shortages of protection gear like face masks and rubber gloves arose.  Coronavirus-specific treatment wards and intensive care units sprang up within hospitals, and many were quickly overwhelmed.  Health systems could not return to somewhat normal operations until the spread of the Coronavirus had peaked, and hundreds of millions of people had been vaccinated.
The pandemic created immense demand for preventative vaccines, and also for treatment therapies for patients suffering from the virus.  Billions of dollars were invested in research.  With amazing speed, global demand and unprecedented levels of investment resulted in the production of a Coronavirus vaccine in less than 12 months.  In the U.S., the Trump administration launched “Operation Warp Speed,” making an historic push to bring vaccines and therapies to market quickly, with a goal of having 300 million doses of vaccine ready by January 2021.  Billions of federal dollars were made available for research and development at private companies.  Manufacturing capabilities had to be boosted at the same time.  Continuing mutations of the virus will keep Coronavirus research and vaccines at the forefront of the health care industry for an extended period.  
Meanwhile, cooperation by and between federal agencies and private companies soared in an effort to remove all unnecessary obstacles to new drug and vaccine development.  A number of existing drugs received emergency FDA approval as possible treatments for patients infected with the Coronavirus.
U.S. biotech company Moderna was the first to begin human trials in March 2020, followed by another conducted by Pfizer in partnership with BioNTech SE.  Both the Moderna and the Pfizer two-dose vaccines were authorized for emergency use in December 2020 in the U.S.  This was followed by the February 2021 authorization of a single-dose vaccine by Janssen Biotech, Inc., a unit of Johnson & Johnson.
The SII/Covishield vaccine, developed and manufactured by the State Institute of India and SK Bio, received WHO approval in February 2021.  AstraZeneca/AZD1222, developed by the University of Oxford, its spin-off firm Vaccitech and AstraZeneca, was approved in February 2021 also.  In China, the Sinopharm vaccine was developed by Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of China National Biotech Group (CNBG).  It was approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) in May 2021.  Another Chinese vaccine, Sinovac-Cornavac, developed by Sinovac Biotech Ltd., was approved by WHO in June 2021.

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