President Donald Trump speaks during a Fox News virtual town hall at the Lincoln Memorial. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump asserted during a Fox News town hall Sunday night that he's "very confident" the U.S. will produce a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year.

Why it matters: Trump's timeline is much more optimistic than what most public health officials have predicted. Experts estimate a vaccine could take at least 12–18 months to become widely available.

  • Vaccines typically take multiple years to develop. There is still no vaccine for HIV, and the Ebola vaccine was not approved until 2019.

What he's saying: "We think we'll have a vaccine by the end of this year and we're pushing very hard. We're building supply lines ... we have many companies who are I think close," Trump said.

  • "Now, the doctors will say, ‘Well you shouldn’t say that.’ I’ll say what I think. ... I think we’re going to have a vaccine much sooner rather than later.”
  • Trump called the work Gilead Sciences is doing on remdesivir as an example of a potential "game-changer."
  • As Axios' Bob Herman has reported, remdesivir could provide some help and lay the groundwork for more research, but the drug on its own does not appear to be any kind of "cure" for the novel coronavirus.

Between the lines: "Oxford University scientist John Bell, who is leading one of the efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine, said on NBC's 'Meet the Press' Sunday that his research group will likely get evidence on whether the vaccine has efficacy by early June." [Axios]

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Aug 12, 2020 - Health

Fauci says he "seriously" doubts Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe

NIAID director Anthony Fauci testifies during a July congressional hearing on Capitol Hill. Photo: Kevin DietschI/AFP via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci cast doubt during a National Geographic discussion due to air this week on the effectiveness of Russia's registered coronavirus vaccine touted by President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

Why it matters: "Having a vaccine ... and proving that a vaccine is safe and effective are two different things," Fauci told told ABC News' Deborah Roberts in the discussion, expected to air on Thursday. His comments add to the weight of skepticism from scientists around the world on the Russia vaccine. There is no published scientific to support support Putin's claims.

Aug 11, 2020 - Podcasts

Russia’s vaccine gamble

Russia announced Tuesday that it approved a vaccine for COVID-19 and has plans to inoculate health care workers, teachers and others in the coming months, despite barely starting Phase 3 clinical trials.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the ramifications of this announcement for the global vaccine race with Derek Lowe, medicinal chemist, author and expert on drug development and the pharmaceutical industry.

Aug 11, 2020 - Health

Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's vaccine

A volunteer in Moderna's vaccine clinical trial receives a shot. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The U.S. government has agreed to buy 100 million doses of Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine for $1.5 billion, or $15 per dose.

Why it matters: The Trump administration, through Operation Warp Speed, has now bought initial batches of vaccines from Moderna, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, Pfizer, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca before knowing whether they are safe and effective. The federal government also appears to own some of the patent rights associated with Moderna's vaccine.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!