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Infectious disease expert predicts COVID-19 vaccine will be released in 2020

Dr. Gary Kobinger anticipates that a COVID-19 vaccine is "months, not years away."
By: Stewart Wiseman
June 16, 2020
Photo: Christopher Black / The Associated Press

Despite bleak warnings in the media about a COVID-19 vaccine being a far-away dream, Canadian infectious disease expert Dr. Gary Kobinger remains optimistic. Dr. Kobinger, the director of the Research Centre on Infectious Diseases at Laval University in Quebec, says that he is confident that a COVID-19 vaccine will be available in the next months. During a livestream with Governor General Julie Payette last week, Dr. Kobinger said, "we have a very high likelihood to see a coronavirus vaccine emerge in the next months, meaning many, many months, but not 10 years.” Dr. Kobinger's optimism stems from the number of researchers on a global scale dedicating their time to one singular issue.

Dr. Kobinger knows first-hand what is required to develop a vaccine in a short timeframe, as he was one of the researchers who developed the vaccine and treatment for the Ebola virus while working at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Manitoba. He is currently working to coordinate vaccine research across laboratories in Canada, Chile, China, the United States, Europe, and Africa in order to determine ideal vaccine candidates. Dr. Kobinger notes that vaccine and COVID-19 drug treatment research is progressing at "lightning speed," and that a vaccine may appear faster for COVID-19 because researchers have been studying the similar SARS coronavirus since 2003. Dr. Kobinger says that researchers are attempting to compress 15-20 years of vaccine development into one single year, and believes that with international cooperation it is entirely possible that human trials will begin shortly.

Source: The Globe and Mail

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