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By Tyler Greer
Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the lead members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, and Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, one of the world’s most influential research scientists and advocates in vaccine development and policy, delivered keynote addresses to more than 2,000 trainees, faculty, staff and invited guests today as part of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s virtual COVID-19 Research Symposium.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, gave the symposium’s kickoff keynote address where he was welcomed and introduced by “my good friend, Mike Saag” (UAB professor and infectious diseases researcher Michael Saag, M.D.), whom he thanked for the invitation to speak to the university. Fauci spoke for almost 20 minutes on the public health and scientific challenges of the historic COVID-19 pandemic and what is next – which he hopes is a vaccine candidate in the very near future.
“I can predict, I believe with some degree of certainty, that by the end of November to the beginning of December, we will know – based on the size of the trial and rate of infections that are ongoing in this country – if we will have a safe and effective vaccine,” Fauci said. “I feel cautiously optimistic that we will have a safe and effective vaccine even though you can never make absolute predictions when it comes to vaccinology.”
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