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Expert: Human trials for coronavirus vaccine will begin in ‘a month or so’

Washington DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ With more than 100 cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 11 deaths, the U.S. National Institutes of Health is working tirelessly to limit the spread of the potentially deadly illness.

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday they’re close to creating an effective vaccine.

He said they’ll begin “phase one” trial, in which the vaccine will be tested on 45 individuals, within a month or so.

“I predicted that we would be about two to three months to go into phase one trials and I think we’re going to beat that,” he said.

But, despite moving with record speed to create the vaccine, Fauci told lawmakers it will still be at least a year before it’s ready.

“The sobering news is that since vaccines are given to normal individuals, what is paramount is safety and whether or not it works,” Fauci said. “Although the good news is we did it fast, the bad news is that the reality of vaccinology means this is not going to be something we’re going to have tomorrow.”

The U.S. House approved legislation Wednesday that would set aside $8.3 billion for research on identifying and treating the virus. The Senate is expected to vote on the funding as early as Thursday and President Donald Trump is expected to sign it.

“This robust funding is desperately needed, and I am proud to see its quick passage in the House of Representatives,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Connecticut, who helped secure the funding.

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