Philadelphia—US President Donald Trump said Tuesday a coronavirus vaccine may be available within a month—an acceleration of even his own optimistic predictions—but added that the pandemic could go away by itself.
“We’re very close to having a vaccine,” he told a town hall question-and-answer session with voters in Pennsylvania aired on ABC News.
“We’re within weeks of getting it you know—could be three weeks, four weeks,” he said.
Only hours earlier, speaking to Fox News, Trump had said a vaccine could come in “four weeks, it could be eight weeks.”
But a World Health Organization official said Tuesday there would not be enough COVID-19 vaccines for life to return to normal until 2022.
Chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said the WHO’s Covax initiative, the resource-pooling mechanism to provide equitable vaccine access to countries with differing income levels, would only be able to garner around hundreds of millions of doses by the middle of next year, meaning each of the 170 countries or economies that have joined “will have something”.
But the number of doses would be too small to change the need for social distancing and mask-wearing until production was increased and reached the goal of 2 billion by the end of 2021.