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Fauci predicts that the US should have “a few hundred million doses” of coronavirus vaccine by the new year

Washington – Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the country’s leading infectious disease experts, believes the US will have “a few hundred million doses” of a coronavirus vaccine by early 2021.

In an interview with the American Medical Association journal on Tuesday, Fauci said that four or five vaccine candidate trials are currently ongoing and he expects the U.S. to receive millions of doses of a vaccine by the end of the year.

“We hope for a few hundred million cans by early 2021,” he said.

The Trump administration launched Operation Warp Speed ​​a few weeks ago with the goal of speeding up the development and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine. While public health experts, including Fauci, have indicated that developing a vaccine will take 1

2 to 18 months, President Trump and Minister of Health and Human Services Alex Azar are targeting 300 million doses to the American people by the new year To provide vaccine.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said the Phase III trials for a vaccine candidate developed by Moderna, a U.S.-based biotech company, are expected to start in early July. The study will include 30,000 people and will span a wide range of participants, including the elderly and those with underlying diseases and comorbidities.

Another AstraZeneca vaccine candidate developed by Oxford University is following a similar path, Fauci said.

“I am cautiously optimistic that with the numerous candidates that we have on different platforms, we will have a vaccine that has a level of efficacy that makes it usable,” he said, adding that most who are infect with it The corona virus recovers and triggers an immune response to eliminate the virus.

“If the body is able to develop an immune response to rid the virus of natural infections, it is pretty good evidence that you will trigger an immune response in response to a vaccine,” he said.

But Fauci warned that “there is never a guarantee that you will get an effective vaccine.”

Fauci said production of a vaccine will continue while trials are underway, reducing the time it takes to make it available to the public.

“It’s not like we are making the vaccine, showing that it is effective, and then having to wait a year to get millions and millions of doses,” he said. “This will be done when we test the vaccine.”

As many states are slowly loosening the restrictions that have been put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus, public health officials say that a return to normality will depend on the widespread availability of a vaccine.

The Trump administration announced a partnership with AstraZeneca last month for at least 300 million doses of the Oxford-developed vaccine and provided up to $ 1.2 billion for the effort.

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