Infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the United States will have about 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said that several potential vaccines are entering clinical trials around the world and may produce a viable one by the end of the year. In the United States, the biotech company Moderna is scheduled to enter Phase III, or the final phase of testing, this summer.
Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association that even though the Moderna vaccine is months away from potential appproval, the federal government and Moderna plan to start manufacturing millions of doses in case the vaccine is ultimately viable, according to CNN.
“We are going to start manufacturing doses of the vaccine way before we even know if the vaccine works,” Fauci said. “The prediction of the statistical analysis and the projection of cases indicate that we may know whether it’s efficacious by maybe November, December … By that time, we hopefully would have close to 100 million doses.”
“By the beginning of 2021, we hope to have a couple of hundred million doses,” Fauci continued. “So it isn’t as if we are 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 is going to be done as we are testing the vaccine.”
The Moderna vaccine has shown some early success in clinical trials. The vaccine has appeared to inoculate recipients against the coronavirus, affording them some degree of protection against Covid-19. The Phase I trial results for the vaccine looked promising, researchers said
“These interim Phase 1 data, while early, demonstrate that vaccination with mRNA-1273 elicits an immune response of the magnitude caused by natural infection starting with a dose as low as 25 µg,” Moderna chief medical officer Dr. Tal Zaks, said in a May 18 statement. “When combined with the success in preventing viral replication in the lungs of a pre-clinical challenge model at a dose that elicited similar levels of neutralizing antibodies, these data substantiate our belief that mRNA-1273 has the potential to prevent COVID-19 disease and advance our ability to select a dose for pivotal trials.”
The Moderna team is creating a vaccine using a recently developed technique that has not yet resulted in an effective vaccine, but is a much faster process than more traditional methods.
The push for a vaccine in the United Kingdom is being led by AstraZeneca and is on a similar timeline to Moderna’s. Several other vaccines being tested across the world are following several months behind.
“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.
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