Speaking at a live-streamed videoconference hosted by the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House coronavirus task force member and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it is difficult to tell how long a vaccine will work.
“It’s not going to be like a measles vaccine. So there’s going to be follow-up in those cases to see if we might need a boost. We might need a boost to continue the protection, but right now we do not know how long it lasts,” he said.
Vaccinations for measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, human papillomavirus and even influenza all require boosters to remain effective.
Several drugmakers are currently developing COVID-19 vaccine candidates including AstraZeneca AZN, -0.52% and the University of Oxford, Inovio Pharmaceuticals INO, 14.48% and Moderna MRNA, 3.66%. The pandemic has claimed 538,190 lives and infected 11,626,759, with the U.S. in the grips of fresh outbreaks that have set records in several states over recent days.
An eventual return to economic normalcy largely hinges on vaccines that can prevent infections from the coronavirus. “There is no guarantee…that we will have a safe and effective vaccine, but we are cautiously optimistic,” Fauci testified during a Senate hearing last month.