A vaccine for the novel coronavirus is possible by the end of the year, but he wouldn’t “bank on it,” the director of the Center for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said Sunday.
“We should hold out some level of hope that if everything goes in the right direction, we could possibly be seeing a vaccine by the end of the year,” said Dr. Tom Inglesby on NBC’s “Meet the Press.“
Inglesby said it is ordinarily not realistic to expect a vaccine to be created quickly, but he said the circumstances in this case are unique and might lead to faster development.
“Coming into this year I would have said it was completely unrealistic,” Inglesby told host Chuck Todd.
“Given that there are now 110 vaccine projects going on around the world that all the major vaccine companies in the world are working on this in some way, and given that Tony Fauci and Moncef Slaoui are now leading figures in the U.S. in this project and they both believe it’s possible, I think it is possible,“ Inglesby said. “But everything would have to break in the right way. And there are many ways that it might not work. So, I don’t think we should bank on it. “
Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Slaoui was appointed last week by the Trump administration to lead the government’s effort to speed the development of potential vaccines.
Inglesby also said that the lockdowns implemented in various ways and for various lengths of time around the nation were essential to combat the pandemic.
“I think lockdowns were necessary,” he said. “They actually have changed the course of the epidemic in the United States. We have the largest epidemic in the world. Five times as many cases as any other country in the world. And you can see over time that the curve is moving in the right direction and it is now appropriate for states to be thinking about how to very carefully reopen and do it as safely as possible. But yes, I think we needed to get control of this epidemic in the country and now reset.“
Todd asked him what to expect in the summer months. Inglesby said it depended on how careful people are.
“I mean, the future really is in our hands,“ he said.