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Fauci bullish on prospects for U.S. vaccine, not worried about China winning race

The leading U.S. expert on infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, predicted on Wednesday the country will meet its goal of a coronavirus vaccine by year’s end and was unmoved by the prospect that China would get there first.

While there are no guarantees, “I feel good about the projected timetable,” Fauci told Reuters in an interview.

His comments follow promising early stage data for the Moderna Inc’s coronavirus vaccine, released on Tuesday, that was developed by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which Fauci directs.

Many experts see a safe and effective vaccine as the only way out of the pandemic that has infected millions and killed more than 575,000 people worldwide.

Fauci said Moderna’s results were especially promising because the vaccine appeared to offer the type of protection seen in a natural infection.

Fauci was unmoved by the prospect that China could cross the finish line first. Although he said he hopes China  succeeds, he does not think they will win the vaccine race, at least not by much.