Watch CBS News

Researchers Race To Produce Coronavirus Vaccine, At Least 8 In Clinical Development Stage

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- More than 100 players are in the race to find a vaccine for the coronavirus.

"We have many candidates," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert. "I hope to have multiple winners."

While experts hope to have a vaccine as soon as possible, infectious disease specialist Jeffrey Galpin warned that moving too quickly could be dangerous.

"The worst thing you could do is give something to a couple hundred million people and then find out there's a side effect we didn't know about," he said.

In a Senate briefing Tuesday, officials said there are at least eight candidates that have progressed to the clinical development stage.

MORE: Cedars-Sinai Researchers Find Human Heart Tissue Infusion Successful In Treating Coronavirus Patients

Fauci said his team has been heavily involved with one vaccine being developed through a company called Moderna. Moderna isn't developing a vaccine against the virus itself, but against the protein that allows the virus to break into our cells and invade the body.

"That's a very good concept," Galpin said. "What kills us is our own friendly fire from trying to stop this virus. We try so hard that we get such an inflammatory response that it gets out of control."

Dr. David Baltimore, a Nobel prize winning virologist from the California Institute of Technology, said he agrees that Moderna's unique concept is hopeful, but also comes with some unknowns.

"You might see in a pandemic situation like this, going for a new modality is not a great idea because there could be surprises," he said. "On the other hand, the new modality offers the opportunity to develop the vaccine faster."

Despite researchers' hopefulness that a vaccine could soon be on the market, Fauci said not to expect one to be available before early 2021.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.