In an interview with Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a coronavirus task force member, said it's in the realm of possibility that the United Stares could have a coronavirus vaccine by January.
"I think that is doable if things fall in the right place," Dr. Fauci said.
Guthrie asked Dr. Fauci about the program the administration is calling Operation Warp Speed, whose goal is to speed up the timeline for the vaccine and develop hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccine and have them ready by January 2021.
"You always have to say you want to get a vaccine that is safe, that's effective and that you can scale up rapidly," Dr. Fauci said.
He said that right now in the plan they're in the early phases of a trial phase I. When you go into the next phase, that's when you try and safely, carefully and quickly try and get an answer as to whether the vaccine works and is safe. If so, that's when you start ramping up production with the companies involved, which happens at risk.
"In other words, you don't wait until you get an answer before you start manufacturing. You, at risk, proactively start making it, assuming it's gonna work. And if it does, then you can scale up and hopefully get to that timeline. So we want to go quickly, but we want to make sure it's safe and it's effective," Dr. Fauci said.