Coronavirus vaccine expected to be ready in only a year and a half

"Although this is the fastest that we have ever gone from a sequence of a virus to a trial, it's still would not be applicable to the outbreak unless we wait about a year, a year and a half."

DONALD TRUMP. His administration adopted measures that promoted the principles of the plan (photo credit: REUTERS)
DONALD TRUMP. His administration adopted measures that promoted the principles of the plan
(photo credit: REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump will hold a news conference to give an update on the way the US government is working to respond to the coronavirus.
The US administration has specified that the President's approach is to give full information on the coronavirus situation to the its citizens. It has recently requested $2.5 billion in funding from Congress to combat the virus. 
The money would be allocated towards health preparedness, laboratory testing, quarantine costs, the development of vaccines, and other healthcare priorities. 
Trump's approach to the coronavirus situation is "radical transparency," according to the White House. 
Washington would rather make sure that US citizens have a full understanding of how the government is trying to keep them safe, rather than "keep them in the dark. The administration wants citizens to be able to see inside each step of the process."
The US "is rated number one" for countries best prepared to deal with an epidemic in a study done by Johns Hopkins University, the president announced.
Trump has placed Vice President Mike Pence in charge of dealing with the coronavirus situation in America. "He's very good on health care," the president said in his address. "When Mike Pence was governor of Indiana, they established great health care. They have a great system there, a system that a lot of other states have looked to; a lot of other states have wanted to change their systems. And I think he's really a very good expert in the field. I'm going to be putting our vice president in charge, and he'll be reporting back to me."
"President Trump has made clear from the first days of this administration that we have no higher priority than the safety and security of our people," Pence announced. "From the first word of the outbreak of the coronavirus, President Trump took preventative steps to protect the American people from the spread of this disease.
"He established travel restrictions, aggressive quarantine efforts of Americans that are returning, declaration of a public health emergency and the establishing of the White House Corona Task Force – all [are] reflective of the urgency that the president has brought [to the] whole of government."
This came after Trump commented that America was "ridiculed" for the early steps it took to prevent the outbreak, steps such as closing down borders from certain countries. "Because of what we did in the beginning, the risk of the American people remains very low," Trump said in his initial statement.
Pence elaborated on being governor of the state where the first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) emerged in 2014.
SECRETARY OF Health and Human services Alex Azar listed the number of cases of coronavirus in the US. "As of today we have 15 cases of COVID-19 [the disease caused by the novel coronavirus] that have been detected in the United States, with only one case detected in the last two weeks. We also have three cases among Americans repatriated from Wuhan, and 42 cases among Americans repatriated who had been stuck on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan," he said.
"The president's early and decisive actions including travel restrictions have succeeded in buying us incredibly valuable time. This has helped us contain the spread of the virus, handle the cases that we have, and prepare for the possibility that we will need to mitigate the broader spread of infections within the United States."
Azar warned that, although up until now there have been few cases and the situation has been contained, "the degree of risk has the potential to change."
The US should expect to see more cases, according to Centers for Disease Control deputy director Dr. Anne Schuchat, even though up until now the administrations "aggressive containment strategies" have been working, "the trajectory of what we're looking at in weeks and months to come is very uncertain."
Both advise that the American public should prepare.
A number of vaccine candidates and one prototype are currently in development, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health. "We have a vaccine that we will be putting into trials to see if it's safe – and to see if it produces a response that we will predict if it's protective – in about three months.
I think it's going to be a little bit less than that – probably closer to two months," he said. "It would then take about three months to determine if it's safe, which gives us a total of six months. Then you graduate from a trial which is phase one of 45 people, to a trial that involves hundreds if not low thousands of people to determine efficacy. At the earliest, an efficacy trial would take an additional six to eight months, so although this is the fastest that we have ever gone from the sequence of a virus to a trial, it still would not be applicable to the outbreak unless we wait about a year, a year and a half."
Fauci explained that, "the answer to containing the virus is public health measures. We can't rely on a vaccine. However if this virus will go beyond just a season, which we have all the evidence to believe, it will come back and re-cycle next year. If that's the case, we hope to have a vaccine."