Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the chief adviser for the White House coronavirus vaccine development program, said Thursday that chances of a vaccine by Election Day are slim “but not impossible.”
“There is a very, very low chance that the trials that are running as we speak could read before the end of October,” Slaoui told NPR Thursday. “I think it's extremely unlikely but not impossible.”
Slaoui, an immunologist who formerly headed vaccine development at GlaxoSmithKline, in May joined the White House’s Operation Warp Speed, a Manhattan Project-style vaccine development initiative. Since the project began, the Trump administration has spent over $10 billion on vaccine candidates. Those developed by Pfizer and Moderna are in the most advanced stages of development.
“I firmly believe that we will have a vaccine available before the end of the year, and it will be available in quantities that can immunize subjects with health at the highest risk,” Slaoui said. “And then we will ramp up the manufacturing of vaccine doses to be able to, based on our plans, have enough vaccine to immunize the U.S. population by the middle of 2021.”