Progress in developing a vaccine for the novel coronavirus indicates that one could be developed this year although widespread distribution will require additional time, National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci told an on-line forum sponsored by Georgetown University.
"We’re in a pretty good place when it comes to vaccines," Fauci said on Tuesday. "If things work out as we hope they do, I think by the end of this year and the beginning of calendar year 2021, we will have enough information to know whether the [vaccine] candidates that were dealing with are safe and effective."
Without disclosing details, Fauci also said that one of the most promising vaccine candidates thus far - one already proven both safe and effective in triggering immunity, will be announced later this week.
However, the question of how long a coronavirus immunity could take a year or more for researchers to answer, Fauci said.
Hopefully a vaccine would give protection that is at least long enough for "one full seasonal cycle, hopefully more." Should the immunity period fall short, Fauci added that booster shots could be used to reinforce a fading immunity.