Dr. Anthony Fauci said the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine for the coronavirus strain Covid-19 should be known by “early winter” with 200 hundred million doses available for U.S. use by early 2021.
In an interview Thursday with the editor of JAMA, Fauci said several Phase 3 trials testing experimental Covid-19 vaccines in tens of thousands of patients are beginning later this month and into August across the U.S. Among them are candidate vaccines being developed by Moderna and AstraZeneca.
“We may be able to at least know whether we are dealing with a safe and effective vaccine by the early winter, late winter, beginning of 2021,” Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Dr. Howard Bauchner, editor of JAMA, during the interview, which was live Thursday afternoon.
“Multiple (vaccine) candidates are at different stages of development,” Fauci said. “We are hopeful that one or more of them may actually show a good degree of safety. . . and efficacy.”
Several of the manufacturers are already producing the vaccines “at risk” thanks to the help of U.S. taxpayer dollars. Fauci wouldn’t name the companies making the vaccines, but said these manufacturers are promising that they will have “a couple a hundred of million doses as we go into the early part of 2021.”
“After a year, (vaccine manufacturers are) saying they likely could get a billion doses,” Fauci said.
The update on vaccine development from Fauci came a day after the U.S. reported nearly 50,000 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday as the pandemic worsens, particularly in the South and West.
Last month, Fauci told JAMA’s Bauchner that a trial of Moderna’s candidate vaccine will include primarily U.S. sites, but also include international sites enrolling 30,000 individuals in a “randomized placebo” controlled trial of Moderna’s vaccine against the Coronavirus strain Covid-19. Moderna’s vaccine candidate is considered in the lead among several efforts by drug and vaccine makers in the battle against the deadly virus.
On Thursday, Fauci said several of the vaccines heading into the final stage of clinical trials are going to be similar in their effectiveness and these phase 3 trials will be ramping up from July through September.
Because there are several late-stage trials, Fauci is optimistic a successful vaccine will emerge by the end of the year. And the U.S. should benefit.
“When you have two or three companies which you hope will be successful, they are going to be making vaccine not only for their own country, but availability in other countries,” Fauci said.
“There is this misperception that everybody is racing to be the winner,” Fauci said. “There’s not going to be a winner. Hopefully, more than one of them will be successful.”
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