Not less than eight candidates for a coronavirus vaccine are in the clinical development stage, and some could be ready as early as the “late fall”, Anthony Fauci, the US’ top infectious disease expert, has told senators.

“The [National Institutes of Health] has been collaborating with a number of pharmaceutical companies at various stages of development,” Mr Fauci said, in testimony on Tuesday.

The White House infectious disease guru also suggested that his previous projection that it would take at least a year to 18 months before a vaccine was ready does not appear to be accurate. The NIH trial moved very quickly,” Mr Fauci said.

“On January 10 the sequence was know. On [11 January] the Vaccine Research Centre met and developed a plan. On the 14th of January, we officially started the vaccine development. Sixty-two days later, we are now in phase one clinical trial with the two doses already fully enrolled. The phase one will directly go into phase two, three in late spring and early summer. And if we are successful, we hope to know that in the late fall, and early winter,” Mr Fauci said. Not all of the eight candidates are likely to succeed, he added.

“We have many candidates that hope to have multiple winners. In other words, it’s multiple shots on goal. This will be important, because this will be good for global availability, if we have more than one successful candidate,” he said.

The Trump administration is attempting to fast-track the development and production of a vaccine for the Covid-19 that would give the US the ability to inoculate 300m people by January 2021.


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