Coronavirus Vaccine Won't Be Available to Everyone Until 2024, CEO of World's Biggest Producer Says

As millions across the nation wait for a coronavirus vaccine to be administered, the chief executive of Serum Institute of India, the world’s biggest vaccine producer, suggested that once developed, a COVID-19 vaccine may not fully reach the population until 2024. The date is because pharmaceutical companies have not begun increasing production capacity fast enough, which he says would mean it’ll take “four to five years” until all 15 billion on the planet gets the shot.

“I know the world wants to be optimistic on it,” Adar Poonawalla explained to the Financial Times, “I have not heard anyone coming even close to that [level] right now.” This thought pours some cold water on the idea of the coronavirus being fought off in the next year or two. A vaccine continues to be developed by many drug companies racing to be the first one to find an effective serum. AstraZeneca, which also is working with the Serum Institute of India among others, remains optimistic on making a vaccine available before the end of 2020. The company was set to begin trials in the states but has since been placed on hold as its trial in Britain remains under investigation for a serious side effect.

President Donald Trump considered pushing through the AstraZeneca vaccine at the end of August, despite it not being fully tested for its side effects. The thought-process behind rushing through the process would be to get a vaccine developed and out before the November election as a means to provide Trump with validation in his administration’s response to the coronavirus. Dr. Anthony Fauci has advised on the risks of mainstreaming a vaccine that isn’t fully tested, though Fauci remains hopeful of one being ready to go before the end of the year. Speaking with Wolf Blitzer on CNN, Fauci recently said he doesn’t expect the new normal to go away anytime soon, suggesting the old ways of life may not return until the end of 2021. If a vaccine were to be administered in December, Fauci said the majority of the population would not see the see the vaccine until the mid or end of 2021.

As of Monday evening, coronavirus cases are rising in 11 states, including Delaware, Maine and New Jersey. Wisconsin has seen one of the bigger upticks, seeing 1,353 new cases on average over a week span. Since the pandemic began, there have been more than 194,000 deaths.