The idea that anyone can say there’s going to be a coronavirus vaccine before the studies have even been completed is stunning, Dr. Richard Besser, a former acting director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday.
US President Donald Trump promised earlier Friday that the United States will have enough Covid-19 vaccine for every American by April.
“My reaction is incredulity,” Besser told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
Trump said that as soon as a coronavirus vaccine is approved, the administration will deliver it to Americans immediately — within 24 hours — with at least 100 million doses also available before the end of the year.
Besser, now CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said he was optimistic there will be a Covid-19 vaccine, because of the large effort being put into making one and the variety of different vaccine types being tested.
“But the studies haven’t been done,” he added.
“And when you look at the past 30 years and infectious diseases that have devastated the world, that there’s no vaccines for malaria, HIV, hepatitis C, dengue fever– it’s not from, from a lack of trying.
“It’s because making vaccines is really, really hard.”
Besser urged health officials to continue communication around masks, social distancing and other mitigation practices, and “not wait for a vaccine to save the day.”