By Jane C. Timm


President Donald Trump has suggested multiple times that a coronavirus vaccine could come within months, an accelerated timeline that prominent health experts and veteran vaccine developers say is unlikely absent a miracle.

"We're looking to get it by the end of the year if we can, maybe before," Trump said Friday during in a Rose Garden event centered on his administration's efforts to fast-track a vaccine.


“Vaccine work is looking VERY promising, before end of year,” Trump tweeted on Thursday.



Donald J. Trump

Good numbers coming out of States that are opening. America is getting its life back! Vaccine work is looking VERY promising, before end of year. Likewise, other solutions!

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“I think we’re going to have a vaccine by the end of the year,” he told reporters later in the day.


But experts say that the development, testing and production of a vaccine for the public is still at least 12 to 18 months off, and that anything less would be a medical miracle.

“I think it’s possible you could see a vaccine in people’s arms next year — by the middle or end of next year. But this is unprecedented, so it’s hard to predict,” said Dr. Paul Offit, a professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

MAY 15, 202005:55


The coronavirus was first reported by China in late 2019 and spread rapidly. Scientists began work on vaccines early in 2020, and the first U.S. clinical trial began in March.

Dr. Walter Orenstein, a professor at Emory University and the associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center, said a vaccine in less than a year would be “miracle.”

While technically possible, he added, it is unlikely.

“There’s a lot of things that could go wrong,” Orenstein said.


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