COVID-19 vaccine hunt heats up globally as Trump says vaccine will be available by year's end

Virus Outbreak Vaccine Race
Posted at 4:34 AM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 06:04:05-04

WASHINGTON - About 100 research groups around the world are pursuing vaccines against the coronavirus, with nearly a dozen in early stages of human trials or poised to start.

It’s a crowded field, but researchers say that only increases the odds that a few might overcome the many obstacles that remain.

At the same time, policymakers are devising plans to help compress the years it usually takes to develop a vaccine.

Studies in China, the U.S. and Europe are looking for hints that vaccine candidates protect. Finding out for sure if any of the vaccines work in the real world comes next.

In Virginia and North Carolina, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to go up. So does the number of deaths.

North Carolina passed a couple relief bills impacting health care and small businesses, which their governor is expected to sign.

President Donald Trump says he believes a vaccine for COVID-19 will be available by the end of the year.

Trump also says the U.S. government is putting its “full power and might” behind remdesivir, a drug that has shown early promise as a treatment for the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Trump commented Sunday night during a televised town hall sponsored by Fox News Channel. Trump responded to a Nebraska man who recovered from COVID-19 by saying: “We think we are going to have a vaccine by the end of this year.”

He also said his administration was pushing hard for remdesivir.

U.S. public health officials have said a vaccine is probably a year to 18 months away. But Dr. Anthony Fauci said in late April that it's conceivable, if a vaccine is developed soon, it could be in wide distribution as soon as January.

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