Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease specialist, said on Wednesday he and his team were “cautiously optimistic” about the development of a coronavirus vaccine and predicted that it could be approved in November or December.
“We anticipate that by the end of this year, say November or December, we will know if they are safe and effective,” Fauci said during a Senate Committee hearing on Health, Education, Labor. and pensions.
“The first phase 1 and phase 2 animal and human studies indicate that individuals induce a comparable, if not better, response to natural infection,” he said. “Right now, doses of this vaccine are being produced so that they are ready for distribution.
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Fauci reiterated that he had no qualms about receiving an FDA-approved vaccine.
“If a vaccine that is proven and cleared by the FDA to be safe and effective, I would definitely take this vaccine, and I would recommend my family to take this vaccine,” Fauci said.
Fauci said having a coronavirus vaccine approved before election day was “unlikely,” but not “impossible,” in an interview with PBS NewsHour earlier in September.
President Trump has said that a coronavirus vaccine could be available “during the month of October,” putting his arrival ahead of election day.
“We are an absolute leader in all respects,” Trump said on September 7. “Under my leadership, we will be producing a vaccine in record time. ”
The CDC has reportedly told state officials that a vaccine could be distributed by October or November.
On Monday, Trump touted the vaccination efforts of pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and AstraZeneca (in partnership with the University of Oxford). He called Pfizer “very good”.
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Meanwhile, Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris has expressed doubts about the safety of a vaccine touted by Trump.
“I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump and that he would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the effectiveness and reliability of whatever he talks about,” Harris told CNN more early in September.
Fox News’ David Aaro and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.