Fauci: Vaccine for coronavirus variant ‘likely will take several months’

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, on Thursday said that a vaccine for a variant strain of the coronavirus believed to have originated in South Africa will likely take “several months.”

“That likely will take several months,” Fauci said, asked about the timeline for development of the vaccine by MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

“We’re already, for example, working with the Moderna company. Pfizer’s doing it on their own, I’m sure. It’s a good company, a big company,” he added. “But what we’re doing is, we’re working with them to get a sample of the vaccine that you can actually have it code for the protein that’s the appropriate protein for the South African isolate.”

But the current vaccines still have some protection, especially against severe diseasethe most important thing. “So, although the vaccine might not protect against mild to moderate disease with the South African isolate, when you look at the data, it strongly suggests that it will do quite well against serious disease, namely, keeping people out of the hospital and preventing them from dying,” Fauci said.