As biotechnology companies race to bring a COVID-19 vaccine to market, Dr. Anthony Fauci has recently expressed doubt over the long-term viability of the potential treatment. In a Tuesday interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association, Fauci said he worried that a COVID-19 vaccine might not provide long-term immunity if it behaves like coronaviruses of the past.

“When you look at the history of coronaviruses, the common coronaviruses that cause the common cold, the reports in the literature are that the durability of immunity that’s protective ranges from three to six months to almost always less than a year,” Fauci explained. “That’s not a lot of durability and protection.”

Despite these doubts, Fauci continues to work with biotech companies to help develop a vaccine. During the Tuesday interview, he noted that there are at least four vaccine trials that he is currently involved with, directly or indirectly. By early 2021, Fauci said that there is hope for hundreds of millions of vaccine doses to be ready.

Fauci said that he remains “cautiously optimistic” about the possibility of an effective vaccine for COVID-19, but said that it could potentially take several more months.

“You can have everything you think that’s in place and you don’t induce the kind of immune response that turns out to be protective and durably protective,” Fauci said. “So one of the big unknowns is, will it be effective? Given the way the body responds to viruses of this type, I’m cautiously optimistic that we will with one of the candidates get an efficacy signal.”

Significant in the race to find a vaccine is U.S. company, Moderna. The biotech firm to have their vaccine development fast-tracked by the FDA, Moderna’s approach would utilize experimental “mRNA” techniques, which tell cells what kinds of protein to produce. If effective, Moderna’s mRNA could potentially produce a quicker and safer coronavirus vaccine.

US virus expert Anthony Fauci warned that lifting lockdown measures too early could fuel a second wave of infections and hit the economic recovery US virus expert Anthony Fauci warned that lifting lockdown measures too early could fuel a second wave of infections and hit the economic recovery Photo: AFP / MANDEL NGAN