Apr 15, 2020 - Health

Fauci: Coronavirus vaccines could be ready sooner than expected

Anthony Fauci told CBS News Wednesday it's "possible to shave a couple of months off" his earlier projection that it would take 12–18 months until a novel coronavirus vaccine would be widely available. But he cautioned he didn't want to over-promise and it's "premature" to discuss vaccine trials' data "except to say there have been no glitches."

The big picture: The top U.S. infectious disease expert said the timetable for reopening economies would vary. "The success or failure of that rolling re-entry program ... would be the capability of being able to test, identify, isolate, get someone who is infected out of circulation and do a degree of contact tracing," he said.

"The absolute thing that you would need is to be able to respond and contain whatever rebound you get so that you don't wind up in a situation where you have another escalation."
— Fauci on CBS

Of note: Of note: Per Axios' Bob Herman, Moderna is testing its vaccine in humans, but it won't be widely available for at least 12 months and very possibly a lot longer — and that's if it's found to be safe and effective.

  • However, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel told Goldman Sachs its vaccine could possibly be used for emergency use for "some people, possibly including health care professionals, in the fall of 2020," and the company is scaling up production capacity to millions of doses per month, Herman notes.

Go deeper: What's next in the race for a coronavirus treatment

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify the timeframe for Moderna's vaccine.

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