Fauci expects tens of millions of coronavirus vaccine doses at start of 2021

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Drugmakers will likely have tens of millions of doses of coronavirus vaccines in the early part of next year, Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious diseases official, said in a Reuters interview on Wednesday, offering a more conservative view of the ramp up than some Trump administration officials.

Fauci said there could be a billion vaccine doses available by the end of 2021, and that he is hopeful the world could get past the pandemic that has claimed more than 700,000 lives worldwide by then, with the help of a vaccine.

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said last month the U.S. would have hundreds of millions of vaccine doses by early in 2021.

Those goals are only possible because drugmakers have agreed to manufacture large supplies of their vaccines even before they know whether they work in order to save time.

“The federal government has put more than one egg in the basket,” Fauci said. “We have a pretty comprehensive portfolio that’s going to subsequently be going into clinical trials.”

He said there might be an indication that at least one vaccine works and is safe by year end.

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