The Trump administration's program to accelerate the development of a potential coronavirus vaccine, called "Operation Warp Speed," has the goal to manufacture hundreds of millions of doses by January — which is in the realm of possibility, according to the nation's top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Fauci said that he is part of the team involved in that project.
"We're in the early phases of a trial — Phase 1. When you go into the next phase, we’re going to safely and carefully, but as quickly as we possibly can, try and get an answer as to whether it works and is safe. And if so, we’re going to start ramping up production with the companies involved," Fauci said this morning during and appearance on the "Today" show.
"You don’t wait until you get an answer before you start manufacturing -- you at risk proactively start making it, assuming it’s going to work, and if it does, then you can scale up and hopefully get to that timeline," Fauci added. "So we want to go quickly, but we want to make sure it’s safe and it’s effective. I think that is doable."
Some background: Fauci previously has said that a coronavirus vaccine could take 12 to 18 months to develop. The United States currently has the timeline of developing its vaccine by the end of the year.
"Remember go back in time, I was saying in January and February that it would be a year to 18 months," Fauci said. "January is a year — so it isn't that much from what I had originally said."