“It is possible” the United States will start releasing a coronavirus vaccine by December, the White House’s top infectious disease expert said on Friday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted in January that the vaccine could be ready in 12 to 18 months. In an interview with NPR on Friday, he said “the schedule is still intact”, but warned that there could be obstacles and any timeline “is never a promise”.
“I think it’s possible that if we don̵
“When you deal with vaccines, there can be so many things that are difficult that they may not be completely effective,” he added. “And you wouldn’t want to implement a vaccine that’s not effective and certainly not one that’s not safe.”
Fauci’s remarks came four days after US biotechnology company Moderna published some positive data from the first phase of a human trial of its potential vaccine. The National Institutes of Health is partnering with Moderna to accelerate vaccine development.
STAT News pressed some optimism about the vaccine after it reported that researchers said the released data was incomplete. Foci described it on Friday as “partial data”.
He said researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, where he is director, were collecting full data for presentation in a peer-reviewed journal within “a few weeks.” He said the potential vaccine was “accelerating”, but added that researchers were not compromising on safety or care.
Because of the crisis, researchers are accelerating the development of the vaccine candidate by simultaneously investing in multiple stages of research, although this could be useless if the vaccine proves ineffective or safe, Fauci said.
“The risk is not for the patient because safety and scientific integrity are intact,” he said. “The risk is for the investment and we think it’s important enough to make that investment to save months.”
Last month, the federal body for biomedical advanced research and development provided Modern with up to $ 483 million in funding to accelerate the development of the Covid-19 vaccine candidate.
Earlier this month, Moderna announced a 10-year partnership with Swiss drugmaker Lonza to speed up production of the experimental vaccine. Moderna CEO Stefan Banzel told CNBC at the time that the company hoped to start production of its potential vaccine “as early as July.”
The potential vaccine was the first candidate to enter the first phase of a human trial in March. More than 100 vaccines are being developed globally as of April 30, according to the World Health Organization, with at least eight being tested on humans.
-CNBC on Berkeley Lovelace contributed to this report.