Fauci says he is ‘cautiously optimistic’ vaccine will be effective, available early 2021

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U.S. health officials are warning that the nation is entering a new phase of the pandemic, as COVID-19 cases continue to spread in urban and rural areas.

Some officials fear the U.S. still doesn’t have a grasp on the pandemic.

Most states are seeing a week-over-week rise in test positivity rate for the coronavirus, a strong indicator of how the virus is spreading.

The CDC’s new forecast predicts nearly 20,000 more COVID-related deaths by August 22.

That breaks down to close to a thousand deaths per day between now and then.

Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke to the WGN Morning News Monday.

“This is not a trivial disease to be taken lightly,” he said. “It’s historic in its proportions and should be taken seriously.”

Fauci said he is “cautiously optimistic” the vaccine that is in development now will be effective.

“The earliest studies that we did in Phase 1 showed that in an unlimited number or people, that it induced the kind of response, namely a good, neutralizing antibody response, which is the gold standard,” he said. “It induces it at a level equivalent to, if not even better, than when you recover from natural infection ..  that’s a very good sign.”

Fauci said a vaccine could be available at the beginning of next year.  

To enroll in the vaccine trials, go to coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org.

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