Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday expressed his optimism for a COVID-19 vaccine that could be ready as early as late fall.
Fauci told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” that as a Moderna study is underway, he is “cautiously optimistic” in having a vaccine ready heading into “late fall and early winter.”
“[W]hen I say I’m cautiously optimistic, I mean that,” Fauci advised. “The reason I say that is that the phase 3 trial, as you know, started yesterday. The early data on Phase 1 which was fundamentally safety but enough for us to see the kind of response that this vaccine induces in individuals, and it induced a level of antibodies which are the proteins that fight the virus at a level that was quite high in the sense of it was comparable, if not better, than what we see in the recovery from natural infection and that’s really one of the issues when you’re dealing with vaccines if you can induce a response that is at least as good as natural infection, that is a good predictor that you’re going to have a vaccine that works. Obviously, the proof of the pudding is you’ve got to do the trial. It’s a large trial, 30,000 people are going to be in the trial. That will give us the answer, and, yes, I am cautiously optimistic that as we get into the late fall and early winter, we will have an answer, and I believe it will be positive.”
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