Covid-19 vaccine by end of 2020, says Trump as drug search intensifies

President Donald Trump speaks in an address to the nation from the Oval Office at the White House about coronavirus
US President Donald Trump on Sunday expressed confidence that a vaccine for coronavirus could be available by the end of this year. 

"I think we'll have a vaccine by the end of the year. We'll have a vaccine much sooner rather than later," Trump said at a Fox News virtual town hall.

The search for a vaccine for coronavirus infection has already intensified around the globe.The European Union has pledged to set up an international medical program with an initial pledge of raising $8 billion to find a vaccine and treatment for the pandemic.

In Britain, clinical trials have begun of a potential Covid-19 vaccine developed by scientists at Oxford University's Jenner Institute. Other developers across Europe have also stepped up their works on their own experimental shots against the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Within the United States, at least 115 vaccine projects are going on in laboratories at companies and research labs, according to media reports.

Earlier, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed that a vaccine against the coronavirus, when developed, should be universal and available for every individual across the world.

Meanwhile, Trump also batted for economic reopening in the US. "We have to get it back open safely but as quickly as possible," Trump said in the virtual town hall. He also acknowledged fear about the issue, as some Americans worried about getting sick while others are concerned about losing jobs. Many public health experts believe that cannot be done safely until a vaccine is developed.

The US economy has suffered, shrinking at a 4.8 per cent annual rate from January through March due to Covid-19, the government estimated last week. It was the sharpest quarterly drop since the 2008 financial crisis.

The number of coronavirus cases in the US has risen to 11,57,687 while the death toll stands at 67,674, according to latest data from Johns Hopkins University. The global tally has surpassed 3.5 million while the fatalities related to the virus have climbed up to 247,306.

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