A coronavirus vaccine will likely be ready for distribution by the end of the year or early 2021, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said more than 25,000 people have registered to participate in clinical trials for possible vaccines.
“From everything we’ve seen now — in the animal data, as well as the human data — we feel cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine by the end of this year and as we go into 2021,” Fauci said during a Congressional hearing. “I don’t think it’s dreaming.”
A vaccine would likely go to essential workers and high-risk individuals first before distributed to the public. The Department of Defense and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would work together to distribute some 300 doses of the vaccine, Fauci said.
The U.S. currently has 4.6 million cases of coronavirus and at least 154,779 deaths.
Here are the latest coronavirus headlines:
Mississippi could be worst in country for COVID-19
The director of the Harvard Global Health Institute is warning that Mississippi could become number one in the country for coronavirus.
“Mississippi will become the nation’s No. 1 in new cases/population. Already No. 1 on test positivity,” Jha tweeted this week. Jha said Mississippi’s testing is down 8% while cases are up 37%.
Jha suggested Mississippi close or limit operations at stores, bars and restaurants.
As of Aug. 1, the state has reported 60,553 cases and 1,703 deaths.
Florida passes grim milestone
Florida has surpassed its record for the most COVID-19 deaths in a single week. The state has reported 1,230 coronavirus deaths in the past seven days. On Friday, the state had 257 coronavirus deaths, the most in a single day. On Sunday, Florida recorded 62 additional deaths, bringing its total to 7,084.
In the past week, Florida has recorded 63,277 new coronavirus cases.
33% of recent COVID cases in Louisiana are those between ages 18-29
More than 30% of the recent COVID-19 cases in Louisiana are between ages 18-29, health officials said.
Louisiana has added 3,477 new coronavirus cases since Friday with 33% among people between 18-29. Children under 18 account for 10% of the new cases, higher than the over-70 age group.
Louisiana has 119,000 coronavirus cases with 3,893 deaths.