But many experts surveyed also believe vaccine development will take place at an accelerated rate — ScienceDaily
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 paper published this week in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, a McGill-led team published the results of a recent survey of 28 experts working in vaccinology.
The survey was carried out in late June 2020. The majority of those surveyed were mostly Canadian or American academics with an average of 25 years of experience working in the field.
“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. 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,” said Jonathan Kimmelman, a James McGill professor and the director of the Biomedical Ethics Unit at McGill University and the senior author on the paper.
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 1 in 3 chance that the vaccine will receive a safety warning label after approval, and a 4 in 10 chance that the first large field study will not report efficacy,” added Patrick Kane, the lead author, who is a decision scientist and postdoctoral fellow at McGill University.
Predicting timelines for vaccine development
Experts were asked to make timeline forecasts for three milestones in vaccine development. More specifically, experts were asked for their best, soonest, and latest estimates for when each of the following milestone would occur:
1. Question: When will a vaccine be available to the general public in the USA and/or Canada?