13:02 GMT19 January 2021
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    Nations Restart Economies as Search for COVID-19 Vaccine Continues (143)
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    The US government’s top infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci was quoted by CNN on 27 May as claiming there was a “good chance” a vaccine for COVID-19 could be ready by the end of 2020, “if things fall into the right place”.

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top public health expert and a member of the national coronavirus taskforce, believes that by New Year’s the nation could have at its disposal "a couple of hundred million doses" of a vaccine for COVID-19, reported CBS News.

    Speaking in an interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association on 2 June, one of the nation's leading infectious disease experts revealed that currently there are four or five trials underway for vaccine candidates.

    "By the beginning of 2021, we hope to have a couple of hundred million doses," said Fauci.

    Phase III trials for a vaccine candidate developed by US-based biotech company Moderna are scheduled to begin in early July, said Fauci, adding that another candidate from AstraZeneca, developed by the University of Oxford, is also on track.

    Small bottles labeled with a Vaccine COVID-19 sticker and a medical syringe are seen in this illustration taken taken April 10, 2020
    © REUTERS / Dado Ruvic
    Small bottles labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe are seen in this illustration taken taken April 10, 2020

    According to the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the trial involves 30,000 people ranging from the elderly to those with underlying conditions.

    "I'm cautiously optimistic that with the multiple candidates that we have with different platforms, that we're going to have a vaccine that shows a degree of efficacy that would make it deployable," said Fauci.

    Nevertheless, the infectious disease expert warned that there was "never a guarantee, ever, that you're going to get an effective vaccine."

    To fast-track the route from clinical trials to the public, Fauci said production of a vaccine was going to proceed parallel with the trials.

    "It isn't as if we're going to make the vaccine, show it's effective and then have to wait a year to rev up to millions and millions and millions of doses... That's going to be done as we're testing the vaccine," said Fauci.

    Earlier, speaking on CNN, Anthony Fauci said there was a “good chance” a vaccine might be deployable by November or December 2020, if “things fall into the right place”.

    ​Operation Warp Speed

    US public health officials have been driving home the urgency of an available vaccine as many states in the country begin gradually easing lockdown restrictions, put in place to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    On 15 May Donald Trump announced the launch of "Operation Warp Speed", aimed at developing an effective coronavirus vaccine.

    The administration also revealed its partnership with AstraZeneca for at least 300 million doses of a vaccine developed by Oxford University.

    Screen grab taken from video issued by Britain's Oxford University, showing microbiologist Elisa Granato, being injected as part of the first human trials in the UK for a potential coronavirus vaccine, untaken by Oxford University, England, Thursday April 23, 2020
    © AP Photo / Oxford University Pool
    Screen grab taken from video issued by Britain's Oxford University, showing microbiologist Elisa Granato, being injected as part of the first human trials in the UK for a potential coronavirus vaccine, untaken by Oxford University, England, Thursday April 23, 2020

    Addressing reporters in the White House Rose Garden, Trump suggested a vaccine would be available in the "pretty near future," by the end of the year, despite Dr. Anthony Fauci cautioning that a vaccine would take 12-18 months to develop.

     

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    Nations Restart Economies as Search for COVID-19 Vaccine Continues (143)

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    AstraZeneca, trials, Vaccine, vaccine, COVID-19, coronavirus, Anthony Fauci
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