On Friday, United States President Donald Trump said that a nationwide distribution of the coronavirus vaccine would be possible as early as April of next year. The announcement is the latest remark by the U.S. president that shows his optimistic view of the pandemic.
Nationwide coronavirus vaccine
However, several health experts, including critics of the Republican leader, expressed their concern for the timeline. The prediction comes amid ongoing coronavirus vaccine candidates' trials. The Food and Drug Association (FDA) has not approved a safe and efficient treatment.
According to USA Today, Trump has been forced by the approach of the November elections to make rash and often inaccurate predictions and claims about the fight against the coronavirus. In March, he announced that he wanted to see people going out and filling churches and that businesses would be opened by Easter.
But the Friday statement about the coronavirus vaccine imposes a hard deadline for pharmaceuticals companies developing the treatment to follow. White House aides said that to meet the timeline, the government would have to produce 100 million doses ready to be distributed before the end of the year.
During a press briefing at the White House on Friday, President Trump told reporters that after the approval of a coronavirus vaccine, the government would have hundreds of millions of doses available every month. He added that the vaccines' distribution would be much quicker than what most people expect.
However, critics have expressed their doubts about the timeline, citing scientific delays and arguing that Trump will promise anything to garner support from the people to get re-elected. Experts say that while several vaccines are being developed, none have been approved by the FDA and that the process would take several months.
Health experts on the timeline
Dr. Scott Atlas, Trump's newest adviser who is part of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, supported the president's prediction. He added that Americans who want to be injected with the treatment would have the opportunity to do so by April, as reported by CNN.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Robert Redfield, said earlier this week that a coronavirus vaccine would be widely available by the second or third quarter of next year.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, expressed his support for the timeline.
President Trump told reporters that he was very optimistic that his administration can beat the number by a substantial amount and bring the vaccine to the American people at a much earlier date.
According to Politico, experts are still unsure which of the leading coronavirus vaccine candidates will be the first to be approved by the FDA. The list includes AstraZeneca, which recently hit a bump in the trial process and had to pause research.
Pharmaceutical company Moderna said it would be able to provide 20 million doses before the year ends. Pfizer, on the other hand, announced it would give 100 million shots worldwide within the year. Executives of both companies revealed they expect to process emergency use authorization by October.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the CDC said in August that it predicts the United States would have about 40 to 45 million doses by the end of December.