The head of FDA, Dr. Stephen Hahn on Sunday contradicted President Donald Trump’s claim that a COVID-19 vaccine will be available by the end of 2020.
“I can’t predict when a vaccine will be available,” Dr. Stephen Hahn, revealed on Sunday. He added that vaccine development would be “based upon on data and science”. A vaccine would strengthen people’s immune systems to fight the infection. Dr. Hahn, a member of WH COVID-19 task force was inquired about the time needed to produce a coronavirus jab after President Trump claimed it would be ready long before the end of the year.
“I want to send our thanks to the scientists and researchers around the country, and even around the world, who are at the forefront of our historic effort to rapidly develop and deliver life-saving treatment and ultimately a vaccine,” Mr. Trump revealed in his Independence Day address at WH.
“We are unleashing our nation’s scientific brilliance and we will likely have a therapeutic and/or vaccine solution long before the end of the year.”
The President has received criticism for his statements on vaccines and treatments he made earlier. Meanwhile the death toll in United States is almost 130,000 now. In recent days, the southern and western states in the US have witnessed a record rate as the nationwide cases tally became 2.8 million.
World Health Organization DG, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in June worried everyone by saying that the scientists may never be able to develop an effective vaccine for virus.
“The estimate is we may have a vaccine within one year,” the WHO chief said. “If accelerated, it could be even less than that, but by a couple of months. That’s what scientists are saying.”
The time-frame issued by the other experts was not until at least mid-2021.
Dr. Stephen Hahn
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner in an interview with ABC News on Sunday said: “We are seeing unprecedented speed for the development of a vaccine”, but did not elaborate on a timeline for its availability.
“Our solemn promise to the American people is that we will make a decision based upon the data and science on a vaccine, with respect to the safety and effectiveness of that vaccine,” he said.
In a separate interview with CNN, the commissioner said he would not comment on President’s claim that 99% of coronavirus infections were totally harmless.
“I’m not going to get into who is right and who is wrong,” he said of Trump’s assertion. The fatality rate among different parts of the world has varied from country to country. WHO in March stated that about 3.4% of infection cases have been found fatal.
While most patients have mild symptoms of the disease, around 20% of the patients need ventilators.
Progress on Vaccine
According to scientists it normally takes years, if not decades to devise a cure for a virus but experts across the globe are working hard to develop a vaccine. There are at present 120 vaccine programs in process while Imperial College London and Oxford University have begun human trials. Health officials in United States have showed cautious optimism that a vaccine will be in production by the end of this year or in early 2021. Earlier this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, suggested that the effectiveness of a vaccine should be known by early winter.
“We may be able to at least know whether we are dealing with a safe and effective vaccine by the early winter, late winter, beginning of 2021,” said the director of the National institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.