How quickly will we have a COVID-19 vaccine, and how will we know it's safe?

A subject receives a shot
A subject receives a shot in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of a potential vaccine by Moderna for COVID-19 at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle on March 16, 2020. According to results released on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, early-stage testing showed the first COVID-19 vaccine tested in the U.S. revved up people's immune systems the way scientists had hoped. The vaccine is made by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc.
Ted S. Warren | AP Photo file

Americans have been getting a lot of confusing messages lately — including from President Trump — about when a COVID-19 vaccine will be ready.

Trump has said a vaccine could be ready this month, but Pfizer officials have said only that they’ll know more about the timing of a vaccine by the end of October. Pfizer and German company BioNTech are working on one of the leading candidates for a U.S. vaccine. The other is being developed by Moderna, which has said its vaccine won’t be widely available until March

While the companies are making progress on the vaccines, figuring out how to deploy them once they’re ready could be complicated. And will enough people voluntarily get vaccinated to stop the spread of COVID-19?

On Monday at 9 a.m., MPR News host Kerri Miller spoke with a vaccine researcher and an epidemiologist about the latest efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Guests:

Kumi Smith is an assistant professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Greg Poland is the director of the Vaccine Research Group at Mayo Clinic.


To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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