An officer at Johnson & Johnson said the company plans to deliver one billion vaccines in 2021. This news comes as the United States reels under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The push for coronavirus vaccines is not just coming from the American private sector alone. Operation Warp Speed, a project started by the Trump administration, plans to get the entire American population vaccinated by January 2021.
Paul Stoffels, the chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson, was on ABC’s The Week. During the show, Stoffels said the company was preparing for clinical trials in September. He also added the company is expanding its manufacturing capacity to mass-produce coronavirus vaccines.
Coronavirus Vaccines Difficult in 2020
During the show, Stoffels answered a question about coronavirus vaccines becoming available this year. The Johnson & Johnson officer said that clinical trials take time to show results. However, Stoffels added that if the FDA would approve the coronavirus vaccine before getting data regarding its effectiveness, the year-end milestone could become a reality.
Dr. Paul Stoffels, Johnson & Johnson chief scientific officer, says COVID-19 is spreading "so fast" around the world and it won’t pass without a vaccine.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) May 10, 2020
The host, George Stephanopoulos, asked Stoffels whether the pandemic would pass without mass-production of coronavirus vaccines. Stoffels said he hoped it does, but the possibility of it happening is slim.
Vaccines are hard to make, but they are the ultimate countermeasure to a pandemic. A vaccine could allow the world to return to complete normalcy. Earlier this month, news of Trump giving Operation Warp Speed a blank check made the headlines. If true, giving the project a blank check is not completely wrong.
However, waiting for six months or a year for a vaccine is not tenable for many Americans. Protests against more increases in lockdowns are already surfacing. In Texas, a business owner got sent to prison for seven days for opening her hair salon. Michigan already saw its share of protesters last week. The president wants to see the country reopened quickly, admitting to the same when asked during press conferences.
(Image Credit – Health.Mil)