US President Donald Trump says a vaccine for COVID-19 could be ready in three or four weeks, despite some US public health officials urging caution about that accelerated timeline.
Trump made the comments while speaking at a town hall hosted by the American ABC News, saying a vaccine could be ready for distribution before the US presidential election on November 3.
"We're very close to having a vaccine," he said.
It's not the first time Trump has promised a coronavirus vaccine
Last week the President said a vaccine could arrive "during the month of October".
"So contrary to all of the lies, the vaccine that they've politicised — they'll say anything and it's so dangerous — but the vaccine will be very safe and very effective and it'll be delivered very soon," he said
That promise came after Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris said she "would not trust" Trump's word on the safety of a coronavirus vaccine.
"I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he's talking about. I will not take his word for it," she said.
Trump has been promising a coronavirus vaccine "soon" as far back as early August.
Is Trump right?
We just don't know for sure.
Earlier this month, top US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci told CNN that most experts believed a vaccine would be ready by November or December.
"It is conceivable that you can have it by October, though I don't think that that's likely," Dr Fauci said.
But the world was given a crash-course in the perils of vaccine development last week when late-stage trials for a leading coronavirus vaccine candidate were suspended after a study participant suffered an "unexplained illness".
The trials have since resumed after getting a green light from safety watchdogs.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has given assurances in the past that the President "will not in any way sacrifice safety" when it comes to a vaccine, and executives of five top pharmaceutical companies have pledged that no vaccines or treatments will be approved without proof they are safe.
The White House has flagged that the military will drive the rollout of the vaccine in the US, but a plan for which Americans might receive the vaccine first is yet to be finalised, something that has experts concerned.
Source: ABC News