Public health expert Dr. Tom Inglesby warned Sunday not to “bank on” having a COVID-19 vaccine within 12 to 18 months.
In an interview on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said there are 110 vaccine projects by companies in the world currently, and said top public health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, believe a vaccine is possible by the end of this year.
“But everything would have to break in the right way,” he said. “And there are many ways that it might not work. So, I don't think we should bank on it. But we should hold out some level of hope that if everything goes in the right direction, we could possibly be seeing a vaccine by the end of the year.”
According to Inglesby, lockdowns and quarantine “were necessary” and have “changed the course of the epidemic in the United States.”
“We have the largest epidemic in the world, five times as many cases as any other country in the world,” he said. “And you can see over time that the curve is moving in the right direction and it is now appropriate for states to be thinking about how to very carefully reopen and do it as safely as possible. But yes, I think we needed to get control of this epidemic in the country and now reset.”
He called Georgia’s reopening process”a good beginning” but warned it’s “too soon for us to say in any state how things are going.”
“It's a good beginning in the fact that it hasn't gotten worse,” he said of the Georgia reopening. “It does take time for us to see the change that might occur following changes in policy because it takes a while for people to become sick after getting infected. It could take even longer for them to be hospitalized. So I think it's too soon for us to say in any state how things are going. …But it's good news that things have not gone in the wrong direction.”
The course of the outbreak now will depend on “how people in individual states react," he added.
“The future really is in our hands,” he said. “It depends on how people in individual states react to the situation. If people continue to be very careful about physical distancing, wearing cloth masks when outside, avoiding gatherings, I think, I’m hopeful that states will be able to, to control their outbreaks. We also need to have very strong contact tracing efforts around the country.”
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