Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, addressed the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday, saying he was “cautiously optimistic” that the new vaccine could be ready by 2020,media BGR reported. Fauci listed several candidate stakes for human trials, including the Moderna mRNA vaccine, which will begin phase 3 in July.
In his testimony Tuesday at a congressional hearing on the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Fauci said he was “cautiously optimistic” that, based on what he sees, a vaccine could be ready for public release by the end of the year or early 2021.
Here are the relevant citations from Dr. Fuchs’s testimony to the Energy and Commerce Committee:
While you can never guarantee the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine until field testing, we are cautiously optimistic based on collaborative efforts and the fact that we are taking financial risks. This is not a risk to security, nor of scientific integrity, but a financial risk to be able to get ahead. So when we get favorable candidate vaccines with good results, we will be able to make them available to the American public, as I said with the committee a few months ago, and that will give us access to vaccines by the end of this year and early 2021.
Fauci also mentioned Moderna’s ongoing vaccine trial, which is scheduled to enter its third phase in July, when 30,000 participants receive a dose of mRNA vaccine or a placebo. He also talked about other vaccines that have shown promise, two of which will be funded by the U.S. government in phase 3. One is a vaccine from Oxford University and the other is a johnson and johnson-company vaccine. The latter has not yet begun human trials, but should start by the end of July.
Mr. Fauci and other members of the White House’s outbreak response team, including CDC Director Robert Redfield, FDA Director Steven Hahn and Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services Brett Giroir, have repeatedly assured the committee that they will not “steal work cuts in the assessment of safety and effectiveness.” After all, if vaccines are not safe or effective, there is no need to make them available to the public.