Fauci Says Any COVID-19 Vaccine Would Be in Plentiful Supply by 2021

TOPSHOT – A researcher works on a vaccine against the new coronavirus COVID-19 at the Copenhagen’s University research lab in Copenhagen, Denmark, on March 23, 2020. – At Copenhagen university, a team of about 10 researchers is working around the clock to develop a vaccine against Covid-19 that could apply for clinical trial before within nine months. The vaccine will be based on two components : the protein which is on the surface of the coronavirus, called the spike protein that researchers express in the lab and then attach it on the surface of a virus-like particle. (Photo by Thibault Savary / AFP) (Photo by THIBAULT SAVARY/AFP via Getty Images)
Plan is to make doses of the vaccine before it is known to work, so if it does work, it can be distributed quickly.

HealthDay News – According to Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine will be available by year’s end.

“Then, by the beginning of 2021, we hope to have a couple hundred million doses,” Fauci said during a conference with the Journal of the American Medical Association. It is still not clear which vaccine will be effective. One vaccine candidate, developed by drug company Moderna and NIAID, will start phase 3 trials by midsummer, Fauci said.

“The real business end of this all will be the phase 3 that starts in the first week of July, hopefully,” Fauci said. “We want to get as many data points as we can.” The phase 3 randomized, placebo-controlled trial will enroll about 30,000 people. A phase 2 trial started a few days ago. The plan, according to Fauci, is to make doses of the vaccine before it is known if it will work, so if it does work, it can be distributed quickly.

Another vaccine from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca is on a similar schedule. “I’m cautiously optimistic that with the multiple candidates we have with different platforms, that we are going to have a vaccine that will make it deployable,” Fauci said. He is optimistic because infected people do develop immune system antibodies against the new coronavirus, “which tells us that if the body is capable of making an immune response to clear the virus of natural infection, that’s a pretty good proof of concept,” Fauci said. “Having said that, there is never a guarantee.”

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Fauci added that he is more concerned about the durability of response than whether the vaccine will achieve a protective response. “If you look at the duration of protection when you recover from one of the several benign coronaviruses that cause the common cold, the durability of protection is only measured in a year or less as opposed to some of the other infections where you could have a 10-, 15-, 20-year degree of protection,” he said.

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