In a recent interview, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said there could be a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2020.
Although Fauci predicts a vaccine could be developed by the end of the year, there are still steps that need to be taken before one would be ready for public use. Specifically, Fauci stated, “I would not be comfortable with a vaccine, unless it was shown in a clinical trial clearly to be safe and effective."
CDC Advises Public Health Officials to Prepare to Distribute Vaccines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has notified public health officials that they should prepare to distribute a potential COVID-19 vaccine as soon as late October or early November. The CDC has also provided health officials with planning scenarios to help states and cities prepare, noting that “The COVID-19 vaccine landscape is evolving and uncertain, and these scenarios may evolve as more information is available.”
The outlined vaccine distribution would prioritize specific populations, such as health care professionals and other designated essential employees.
Avoiding Future Coronavirus Surges
Fauci warns that, with the flu season coming up, it’s important that the general public takes steps to help prevent a “twindemic” where the COVID-19 pandemic and flu season are in effect simultaneously. To that end, Fauci says that the United States must focus on reducing the spread of COVID-19.
Fauci noted that we saw a surge in cases after the Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends. Fauci continues to recommend that individuals continue to wear a mask, social distance and avoid crowds.
“You don't want to be someone who's propagating the outbreak, Fauci said. “You want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem."
Fauci also addressed positive COVID-19 cases taking place on college campuses, and urged schools to sequester people with positive cases rather than sending them home.