When will a COVID-19 vaccine be ready?


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As COVID-19 continues to spread across the nation, the race for a vaccine is underway.

“There are over 40 different vaccine candidates that are on the books that are beginning to be studied,” said Dr. Kathryn Edwards, who is a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “What we want to do, if indeed possible, is to make a vaccine that would prevent infection that would be able to allow us to raise this isolation and to go about our regular duties.”

According to Dr. Edwards, it can take up to 6 or 7 years before a vaccine is licensed and ready to roll out, but with COVID-19 there is a focus to get a vaccine out much quicker.

“So what we are talking about is trying to get a vaccine licensed in a period of 18 months,” said Dr. Edwards.

Dr. Edwards says the virus doesn’t seem to be changing too much which is a good sign once a vaccine is made.

“So I think we all hope that one vaccine that would be directed to this coronavirus would be adequate to take care of this coronavirus,” said Dr. Edwards.

The total number of positive cases in the state of Tennessee as of Thursday was 4,634 with 94 deaths.

COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST for every county other than Davidson. Information for Davidson comes from the Metro Public Health Department.)

Most patients with COVID-19 have a mild respiratory illness including fever, cough and shortness of breath. The Tennessee Department of Health strongly encourages Tennesseans to wash your hands often with soap and water and to not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

The CDC recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 people or more throughout the United States.

High-risk individuals are defined as adults over 60 years old or people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions such as: Heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.

The Tennessee Department of Health offers a COVID-19 Public Information Line at 877-857-2945, with information available daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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