KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 – United States president Donald Trump expressed confidence that the US would produce a vaccine for the coronavirus by the end of 2020.
“We are very confident that we’re going to have a vaccine at the end of the year, by the end of the year,” AFP cited Trump as saying to Fox News.
He further said that he has no qualms about other nations racing the US to discover a Covid-19 vaccine first.
“I don’t care, I just want to get a vaccine that works.”
Despite contradicting his advisors on the prediction for a vaccine, Trump continued to believe that the vaccine will be ready by year-end.
“The doctors would say ‘well, you shouldn’t say that.’ I’ll say what I think.”
Previously, Dr Anthony Fauci, who leads the White House Covid-19 taskforce and is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said that there are chances to get “hundreds and millions” of doses of a potential Covid-19 vaccine by January next year, despite no approval on the usage of the drug from the authorities yet.
Just last week, the remdesivir drug was found to be showing positive impact on patients of the coronavirus.
Remdesivir is an antiviral drug that was originally developed by Gilead Sciences to fight Ebola and other related viruses, while lopinavir/ ritonavir is a combination antiretroviral medicine, sold under the brand name Kaletra, to help control HIV infection.
“As part of the FDA’s commitment to expediting the development and availability of potential Covid-19 treatments, the agency has been engaged in…discussions with Gilead Sciences regarding making remdesivir available to patients as quickly as possible, as appropriate,” Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) spokesman Michael Felberbaum was quoted saying.
Dr Fauci reportedly said: “The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery.”
The preliminary trial proved that remdesivir provided an improved recovery time for coronavirus patients from 15 to 11 days, and may reduce the mortality rate.
“Although a 31 per cent improvement doesn’t seem like a knockout 100 per cent, it is very important proof of concept. What it has proven is that a drug can block this virus,” added Fauci.
The NIAID said: “Results also suggested a survival benefit, with a mortality rate of 8.0 per cent for the group receiving remdesivir versus 11.6 per cent for the placebo group.”
The FDA is yet to approve the drug for the treatment, but it plans to allow an emergency-use authorisation, which could come as soon as next Wednesday.
In the Fox News interview, Trump was further asked about the risks of a human trial in a research process.
“They’re volunteers. They know what they’re getting into,” he said.