Toronto: Experts working in the field of vaccine development tend to believe that an effective vaccine is not likely to be available for the general public before the fall of 2021.
In a study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the research team conducted a recent survey of 28 experts working in vaccinology. The survey was carried out in late June 2020.
"Experts in our survey offered forecasts on vaccine development that were generally less optimistic than the timeline of early 2021 offered by US public officials," said study author Jonathan Kimmelman from McGill University in Canada.
"In general they seem to believe that a publicly available vaccine next summer is the best-case scenario with the possibility that it may take until 2022," Kimmelman added.
Many experts also believe that there may be some false starts before an effective vaccine is available.
"The experts we surveyed believe that there is a one in three chance that the vaccine will receive a safety warning label after approval, and a four in 10 chance that the first large field study will not report efficacy," said researcher Patrick Kane.
Experts were asked to make timeline forecasts for three milestones in vaccine development. Their best guess is September/October 2021, soonest, June 2021 and the latest is July 2022.
The study also showed that the first vaccine widely deployed in the US and/or Canada will receive a boxed warning from the FDA to highlight serious or life-threatening adverse reactions; or"Our study finds that experts are largely in agreement about the timeline for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine," the authors wrote.
"While this does not track with many overly optimistic government projections, it reflects a belief that researchers are indeed on a faster pace to development compared to previous vaccines," they noted.