U.S. infectious disease specialist Dr Anthony Fauci believes the average American could realistically have a coronavirus vaccine by April, he said Wednesday.
“It will probably be in the first quarter of 2021, say April 2021,” Dr Fauci said. CBS Evening News.
His planned timeline does not match that of President Trump. At election rallies this week – after his own fight against the coronavirus – Trump promised his supporters that these vaccines would arrive “very soon.”
Dr Fauci added that the public with access to COVID-19 vaccines in April was the best case scenario.
“This would be based on the fact that all vaccines in clinical trials have been shown to be safe and effective,” he added.
As of now, trials of three experimental vaccines – carried out by AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Inovio – are on hold due to potential safety concerns, although experts say those intakes are not necessarily of concern.
Dr Fauci’s comments also underscored the importance of not only one, but all candidate vaccine candidates.
The goal of Operation Warp Speed, the White House’s program to fund and accelerate the development of coronavirus vaccines, is to amass 300 million doses of the vaccine, with the first doses available by January 2021.
Warp Speed has contracts with several vaccine manufacturers – including leaders Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson for hundreds of millions of doses of each of their vaccines.
But senior health officials, including Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary Alex Azar have made more modest estimates of 100 million doses by the end of the year, ” he said in testimony to Congress.
Moderna said it could manufacture 20 million doses by the end of the year.
Pfizer, a giant in the pharmaceutical world, expects to be able to manufacture 100 million doses by the end of the year.
Their efforts would be complicated by equally huge stocks of vaccines made by Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, of which the latter produces a vaccine designed by the University of Oxford.
But AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine trials are now on hold, due to safety concerns.
FDA rule changes effectively make it impossible for the most advanced trials to have enough data to submit to regulators for emergency approval before the November 3 election – the date that President Trump had been eagerly pushing for. have a vaccine.
Even if the halted trials resume quickly and all goes well, the first doses of vaccine will not be distributed simultaneously to everyone in the United States.
COVID-19 vaccine trials by Johnson & Johnson, Inovio, and AstraZeneca all on hold over US security concerns (file)
Right now, most experts advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that vaccines be sent to healthcare and frontline workers first, and that people with underlying illnesses like heart disease and diabetes get vaccinated early.
The elderly, who account for the vast majority of deaths from COVID-19, will also be on the front lines for vaccines.
Healthy young adults will have to wait until risk groups have all been vaccinated before it is their turn to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The CDC said on Wednesday that it may not recommend children to get vaccinated at all during the first wave of vaccine launches.
And the World Health Organization said on Wednesday it could be still late in 2022 before young and healthy people could get vaccinated.
Despite the delays, Fauci’s prediction that the general population could be vaccinated by the end of the first quarter is still consistent with his comments to Congress last month that the United States may have enough doses of the vaccine against the coronavirus for all Americans by April.
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