Health Care

Dr. Fauci cautious about durability of vaccine, remains optimistic

Dr. Fauci cautious about durability of vaccine, remains optimistic”

Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, made his comments during a live question and answer session with the Journal of American Medical Association.

The first two vaccines to start mid-stage trials would likely be from Moderna and the AstraZeneca/Oxford University combination, the director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, told Reuters in an interview last month.

"The real business end of this all will be the Phase III that starts in the first week of July, hopefully", Fauci said. "We want to get as many datapoints as we can".

Pharmaceutical companies are preparing to test their coronavirus vaccines on tens of thousands of people this summer.

"I have examples of people who were clearly infected, who are antibody-negative", Fauci said, adding that those people likely have antibody counts too low for the test to detect. The elderly and people with underlying health conditions will also be included, according to CNN.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel has said the company's experimental vaccine showed promise in early testing.

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Army scientists are testing coronavirus vaccines developed by outside laboratories - but also one created by the Army itself - and are optimistic they'll have a vaccine ready by the end of the year. Advertisement In the meantime, Fauci said, the United States will begin mass-producing the vaccines so it can distribute them once they gain FDA approval.

There is no approved vaccine for COVID-19 caused by the new coronavirus.

"Phase 2 trials may be viewed as more crucial compared to other phases for a couple of reasons". Millions of vaccine doses manufactured ahead of time could be thrown out.

"If the body is capable of making an immune response to clear the virus in natural infection, that's a pretty good proof of concept to say that you're going to make an immune response in response to a vaccine", Fauci said. "Having said that, there is never a guarantee".

Fauci noted he's also concerned about what the durability of the immune response will be. That might mean people would need a fresh vaccine every year, as is the case with influenza.

"That's a very, very high priority", Fauci said.

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