COVID-19 vaccine candidates will enter late-stage clinical studies by the end of the month, with others beginning in August, September and October, the US government’s top infectious diseases expert said on Thursday.
The news comes as Moderna, which is at the forefront of the country’s vaccine development efforts, reiterated earlier in the day that a late-stage trial with 30,000 volunteers would begin this month.
“We may be able to at least know whether we are dealing with a safe and effective vaccine by the early winter, late winter, (or) beginning of 2021,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview to JAMA Network.
Earlier on Thursday, Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, said the Trump administration’s vaccine-acceleration program could generate a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine by year-end.
Before him, the US President Donald Trump also expressed optimism that the United States would soon come up with a workable vaccine for COVID-19, saying three vaccine candidates were looking particularly good.
“Three are really, really looking good,” Trump said at an event at the White House, without providing details. “We think we’re going to have it soon.”
At least 17 COVID-19 vaccines being tested as a part of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed program.