Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Wednesday denied speculation that researchers are close to having a vaccine in the fight against the spread of coronavirus, saying it will take at least a year to develop the drug.
"The confusion is we're close to starting a phase one trial to determine safety," Fauci told CNN's "New Day." "We're going to do that in about one and a half to two months. But that doesn't mean you have a vaccine. In order to get a vaccine that's practically deployable for people to use, it's going to be at least a year to a year and a half at best."
However, he also warned, while appearing on Fox News' "America's Newsroom," that the United States can't be completely excluded from the danger of the disease's spread because "pandemics don't know geographic boundaries."
He added that the risk in the United States remains low, as matters are under control.
"We have a pandemic preparedness plan," he said. "We need to dust it off and get ready to implement it."
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that drugmaker Moderna has sent its first batch of coronavirus vaccine to government researchers to test.
On Tuesday, Dr. Nancy Messonier, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, warned of an imminent pandemic, but Fauci emphasized there have only been a handful of cases in the U.S.
"What Nancy was saying is if you look at the other countries, you look at Italy, Iran, Japan, South Korea, they are having community spread in their countries, which means that it likely will spread to other countries," Fauci told CNN. "She wasn't saying you need to close schools tomorrow or you need to do teleworking tomorrow."
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