State of the Race

Researchers around the world are developing more than 135 vaccines against the coronavirus, but only a handful have advanced to clinical trials.

Under Operation Warp Speed, the US government will fund and conduct the Phase 3 trials of three experimental coronavirus vaccines from Moderna, Inc., AstraZeneca and Johnson&Johnson.

Moderna Inc.’s vaccine was the first U.S. vaccine to receive FDA fast-track designation and is expected to quickly move to Phase 3 by July. AstraZeneca trials, which will include children, will move to Phase 3 in August followed by Johnson&Johnson Phase 3 trials in September, pending positive results from Phase 1/2 beginning mid-July.

Can we get a vaccine by next year?

Despite encouraging early data from vaccine trials, it is unlikely there will be an effective vaccine for widespread use before the end of the year. According to a recent poll, if immunizations were free and available to everyone, about 7 in 10 Americans say they would get a vaccine to protect against the novel coronavirus.

However, 1 in 7 Americans say they would not get a coronavirus vaccine due to general distrust of vaccines.

In other vaccine news: A vaccine for polio might temporarily protect you from COVID-19, a coronavirus vaccine may not be as simple as a single shot, and, when all is said and done, the coronavirus may never go away.