A vaccine for the novel coronavirus, the pathogen behind the ongoing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, is unlikely to be developed and deployed by the end of October, Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Friday. That contradicts suggestions from the Trump administration that the potentially life-saving preventative treatment could be ready before Election Day.
As ABC News reported, a stream of mixed messages has been coming from Washington about when a vaccine could be ready. The CDC has suggested that a vaccine could be ready for distribution by late October or early November, and has told local health departments to be ready.
President Trump, for his part, has suggested that one could be ready by the end of the year. And, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, Dr. Anthony Fauci, without giving a timeline, suggested that ongoing clinical trials could be concluded early, and a vaccine ready for deployment, if the early data from those trials is consistent and provides evidence that the medicine is safe and effective.
Adams, however, isn't convinced.
Specifically, he says that a vaccine ready by late October or early November is "possible even though not probable."
"We've always said that we are hopeful for a vaccine by the end of this year or beginning of next year," he said.
He also referenced an independent, non-partisan review board that Dr. Fauci had himself referenced when talking about the development and deployment of a vaccine.
"What people need to understand is we have what are called Data Safety Monitoring Boards that [reviews] the data. So it won't be possible to actually move forward unless this independent board thinks that there is good evidence that these vaccines are efficacious."He also noted that the messages coming from Washington about the vaccine aren't necessarily contradictory, saying that the guidance from the CDC to be ready for deployment in a few weeks was a "just in case" scenario. Specifically, health officials want to be able to get the medicine to the patients who need it the most, in as timely a manner as possible.
Meanwhile, Dr. Adams warned Americans of a potential spike in coronavirus cases following Labor Day weekend, when it's not unlikely that they will gather at events surrounded by other people.
He recommended that everyone continue to follow what he called "Three W's": wash hands, watch social distance and wear a mask in public, as The Washington Times reported.
"I want people to understand we have the tools to keep this virus under control. We just need to come together and have the will to actually utilize these tools," he said.