In a major announcement, US President Donald Trump on Sunday said that he was confident the vaccine for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine will become available by the end of 2020.
“We are very confident that we are going to have a vaccine at the end of the year, by the end of the year. We think we are going to have a vaccine by the end of this year, and we are pushing very hard,” Trump said during a town hall at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. The timeline given by President Trump has grabbed everyone’s attention because several public health officials have said a vaccine for coronavirus could take at least a year to 18 months. It is to be noted that vaccines often take many years to develop.
“We are pushing supply lines. We don’t even have the final vaccine,” Trump said, adding that “many companies are, I think, close,” citing pharmaceutical maker Johnson & Johnson by name.
Notably, Johnson & Johnson has joined hands with the Department of Health and Human Services to manufacture a vaccine and the pharma giant is likely to get approval for one in early 2021.
A team of researchers at Oxford University in the UK are also working on coronavirus vaccine and they have said that their vaccine if it proves effective, could become available in the market by September 2020.
According to the World Health Organization, at present several coronavirus vaccines are in the development phase.
A few weeks ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had said that the coronavirus vaccine could take 18 months to develop.
The United States has the most number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths with the total number of COVID-19 patients in the country jumping to 11,71,350. The total death toll in the US due to COVID-19 went up to 68,000 on Sunday.