Army medical experts said it is possible a safe COVID-19 vaccine will be available by the end of the year.
“I think it is reasonable to expect that there will be some form of a vaccine that could be available at some level, to a certain population, by the end of the year, the first of the year,” Col. Wendy Sammons-Jackson, director of the Military Infectious Disease Research Program at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, said at a press briefing Tuesday.
Vaccine development normally takes several years. The accelerated time frame is due to funding and focused efforts, the experts said.
“We’re learning about the science of this new virus faster than we have about any other virus before,” Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, director of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Branch at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, said. “So, going to a vaccine in a matter of months from concept all the way to phase-three clinical trials, and potentially licensure, is unprecedented. But in this case, I think very much is possible.”
The Army is working on its own vaccine, though the experts are not expecting that particular vaccine to be available this year. It is set to begin human trials late this summer.