(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- The country’s leading infectious disease expert believes we will have 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2020.
That’s what Dr. Anthony Fauci, a prominent member of the White House coronavirus task force and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said Tuesday. During a live-streamed event held with the Journal of the American Medical Association, Fauci continued:
“Then, by the beginning of 2021, we hope to have a couple hundred million doses.”
Fauci expects that by mid-summer, one of the companies producing a vaccine, Moderna, should enter into Phase III of its clinical trials. That would be the final stage of trials in volunteers. Moderna is working in partnership with the NIAID on developing and testing the vaccine.
That Phase III is set to involve roughly 30,000 participants. In this phase, the vaccine will be administered to people between 18 and 55 years old, as well as elderly people and people with underlying health conditions. As Fauci said:
“The real business end of this all will be the Phase III that starts in the first week of July, hopefully. We want to get as many data points as we can. It’s going to be the entire spectrum.”
Of course, in order to proceed to Phase III, Phase II has to go well — and that only began recently. A couple hundred volunteers are currently taking part in Phase II of the trial.
The only way to produce and deliver that many doses of the vaccine before the end of the year, Fauci said Moderna would need to start manufacturing the doses before they even know whether the vaccine works or not. The plan as of now is for the company to manufacture roughly 100 million doses by November or December, so that if clinical trials prove it does work, they’re ready to be distributed.
The plan is the same for other potential vaccines around the world. AstraZeneca is running a similar trial in the UK, and is on a similar schedule to that of Moderna in the U.S.
Fauci said he’s “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’s optimistic because even though there are “profound” deaths from COVID-19, the majority of people who get the disease recover from it. And what this shows is that the body has an immune response that can get rid of the virus.
“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. Having said that, there is never a guarantee,” Fauci said.
Fauci said he’s more concerned about how long the body’s immune response will be. For example, the body develops antibodies to fight common colds that are caused by other coronavirus strains, but those antibodies typically only last a year.
If that’s the case with COVID-19, then an annual, seasonal vaccine may be required, as it is with influenza.