KEY POINTS

  • More than 145 vaccines are in development, with 21 undergoing human trials
  • Vaccine production already is underway even though none has been certified safe and effective
  • President Trump accused the media of ignoring what he claimed was a 39% reduction in COVID-19 deaths

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Monday any coronavirus vaccine likely would provide only limited immunity. Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, told a video conference if a safe and effective vaccine is developed, it likely will need to be boosted periodically.

Fauci said during a video conference hosted by the National Institutes of Health any vaccine developed this year likely would offer a degree of protection, but that protection likely is “going to be finite,” Bloomberg reported.

More than 145 vaccines currently are being developed, with 21 in human trials. President Trump has said he expects to have one available by the end of the year.

Gary Disbrow, acting director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, told a Senate hearing last week production of vaccines already is underway even though none has been authorized for use.

Fauci again urged public health measures in the absence of a vaccine, urging mask wearing, social distancing and frequent hand-washing, and saying adhering to such actions is not a political statement. He has warned once flu season hits, U.S. healthcare systems could be overwhelmed if the country doesn’t get the pandemic under control.

Trump has consistently downplayed the severity of the pandemic and refused to wear a face mask in public or exhibit social distancing at his recent political events. At least eight members of the Secret Service working on advance plans for recent rallies were diagnosed with coronavirus as were several White House staffers and the girlfriend of his eldest son, Don Jr.

Trump claimed Monday the U.S. COVID-19 death rate was down 39% from its peak as cases and hospitalizations were surging in several states, including Texas, Arizona and Florida.

Nationally, the U.S. had confirmed more than 2.9 million coronavirus cases by midafternoon Monday, with more than 130,100 deaths.

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