While touting preliminary success in developing treatments for COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday there was “no guarantee” that a vaccine to prevent the coronavirus would be ready by early 2021.
“There is no guarantee — and anyone who has been involved in vaccinations will tell you — we’ll have a safe and effective vaccine, but we are cautiously optimistic, looking at animal data and the preliminary data, that we will at least know the extent of the efficacy sometime in the winter and early part of next year,” Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Fauci also said scientists were “aspirationally hopeful” there could be doses available to the public by next year.
Earlier, he noted that the drug remdesivir had proven effective in treating infected patients, cutting recovery time.
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the lawmakers that in light of spikes in some states that have reopened it was more urgent than ever that people take measures to protect themselves and others — including wearing face coverings.
“We are not defenseless against this disease. We have powerful tools at our disposable. Social distancing, wear a face cover in public and be disciplined about the frequent hand washing,” Redfield said.
“It is critical that we all take the personal responsibility to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and embrace the universal use of face coverings. I ask those that are listening to spread the word.
He then detailed upticks in infection in states that have reopened.
“We’re seeing significant increases in the Southeast and Southwest regions of this nation,” he said.
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