White House officials say that the federal government is “absolutely on track” with getting a covid-19 vaccine approved by the end of the year, “if not a little ahead.” Then again, White House officials have said a lot of things in the past, much of which has not been true, but still…permission to get my hopes up? What about one (1) hope? Can I get one (1) hope up? I’m doing it.
Anyway, Paul Mango, the deputy chief of staff for policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, told CNN that Operation Warp Speed—the Trump administration’s $10 billion effort to develop, manufacture, and distribute a safe and effective vaccine as soon as possible—is expected to see success before 2020 is up.
“There are no guarantees in science, but what Operation Warp Speed does is maximize the probability of having at least one vaccine,” he said. “We’re very pleased where we are right now… We obviously have two of our six vaccine candidates that are in phase three clinical trials right now... We will have four vaccines in phase three clinical trials by the middle of next month.”
This all sounds really promising to me, an uninsured bloghag with a 9th grade biology background in science, but there’s good reason to remain cautious of this possibly impending vaccine. For example, rushing approval and distribution might compromise its safety and effectiveness, some health officials warn.
“We need time to see if the vaccine actually works, and we need to see if it’s safe,” Dr. Michael Saag, an associate dean for global health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham told Yahoo! Finance.
There will also probably be a limited supply of the vaccine at first, despite the Trump administration’s lofty goal of getting 300 million doses distributed by January of next year, CDC director Robert Redfield told CNBC.
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in at least 5,890,532 total cases in the United States as of Saturday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with more than 181,000 total deaths.
Contrary to all of the pro-Trump propaganda promoted during last week’s Republican National Convention, much of it falsely claiming that the worst of the health crisis had passed, there were nearly 300,000 new infections reported in the last week, per CDC figures, with the most alarming daily new case stats coming from Guam, Iowa, North Dakota, and Mississippi, NPR reports.