AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — A COVID-19 vaccine could be approved, mass produced and ready for the general public by January, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
When asked about the vaccine being ready by January, Dr. Fauci told the Today Show Thursday, “We want to go quickly, but we want to make sure it’s safe and effective. But I think it’s doable.”
Right now, a number of clinical trials of a potential vaccine are underway. One at the University of Oxford in England could produce results by the middle of June.
“It’s definitely possible,” said Dr. Ross Kedl, a professor of immunology and microbiology at the University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine. “It’s never been done in that speed before, but it’s certainly possible.
“Typically, it takes a while to validate safety,” Dr. Kedl said of vaccine development. “Obviously, the first thing is to do no harm. And secondarily, it takes a little bit to validate that it’s efficacious…that it makes immunity.”
Vaccines usually cost hundreds of millions of dollars to develop and take anywhere from a few years to more than a decade to be approved and mass produced. One for COVID-19 is being fast-tracked, with the hope of having it ready in a matter of months.
To make that happen, a few drug companies will probably start to mass produce different versions of a potential vaccine before it’s proven effective.
“There are a bunch of people who are going to take a big risk,” Dr. Kedl said. “Some will lose. But in the end, we all win.”