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One Of The Vaccine Candidates Will Enter Phase III Trial By July End: Dr.Fauci

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. is "really not good."

The U.S. is the country worst-affected by the coronavirus and has recently seen a surge in coronavirus infections as lockdown restrictions are eased.

In a live-streamed video conference with National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins, Fauci noted that the pandemic has worsened in the U.S. partly because states and cities tried to reopen too quickly even before the country had sufficiently lowered the number of coronavirus cases.

According to Fauci, the U.S. is still "knee deep" in the first wave of the pandemic as the number of cases had never reached a satisfactory baseline before the current resurgence. He added that the situation is serious, that needed to be addressed immediately.

The daily infection rate in the U.S. has recently climbed to over 50,000. According to data from Johns Hopkins University on Tuesday, the death toll from the virus in the U.S. is more than 130,300, while the number of infections is nearing three million.

According to Fauci, many companies are making progress on coronavirus vaccine trials and one of the vaccine candidates is expected to enter phase 3 trials by the end of July.

The third phase of the trials will require 30,000 people to participate. 15,000 people will receive the vaccine, while another 15,000 will not at multiple sites across the U.S.

He expects the public will have an answer by the end of this year or by the beginning of 2021 if one or more vaccine candidates in development are proven safe and effective.

However, Fauci added that any vaccine developed to fight the coronavirus would be assumed to offer "finite" protection. It would not work like the measles vaccine that protects a person through his lifetime.

"You can assume that we'll get protection at least to take us through this cycle," Fauci said.

Fauci also advised Americans to continue to wear face masks, practice social distancing and avoid crowds, regardless of where they are.

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