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As the nation clamors for an end to the coronavirus pandemic, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, spoke during a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute panel on global pandemics yesterday about a vaccine. Read on to hear when we'll get it, and if you can afford it—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Fauci Feels We'll Have a Vaccine by 'November/December'
''I would still put my money on November/December," Fauci said. "It really depends on where the sites are and how many infections there are in a site," Fauci said. "So you could get your answer sooner, or you can get your answer a bit later."
Fauci Says We're Almost There on Enrollment
"Fauci said his projection of November or December is informed by calculations based on where the clinical trial sites are in their studies" and "that current modeling indicates that about 150 infections need to occur in a vaccine trial to be able to make a determination of efficacy," reports CNN. "Right now, the trials are over two thirds enrolled—really close to full enrollment on one, and over full enrollment on the other," he said.
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Dr. Fauci is Not Seeing the Vaccine Data Himself
"The data are blinded. First of all, they're all double blind placebo controlled studies. So intermittently at predetermined points, the data and safety monitoring board look at it. There's a model that tells you when you should have reached a certain number of infections." Once they determine it's effective, "they then turn it over to the regulatory authorities and the company makes a decision whether they want to submit to the FDA, either an emergency use authorization, which is not the official approval, or what's called the BLA, which is a biological license application to get a full approval."
Dr. Fauci Said Everyone Should Be Able to Afford the Vaccine
"I don't think there's going to be a problem with the cost because I think people don't fully appreciate the vaccine itself has already been bought by the federal government. So a person who gets a vaccine will not pay for the vaccine and the only course that would be as cost associated with the administrative components of administering it. And it's interesting today, what came out of HHS was the plan for the distribution of vaccines. And there's a statement in there that no one is going to be denied a vaccine because of lack of ability to pay for it. So I think that's something that's going to be very important when we think in terms of availability of vaccines."
How to Avoid COVID-19 Where You Are
As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Mask up, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, make sure your restaurant (if you must go to one) follows safety protocols, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.