‘Can’t really say for sure’: Still no timeline for COVID vaccine, says McGill researcher

MONTREAL – There’s one question Dr. Nicole Basta receives more than any other these days: when will a COVID-19 vaccine become available?

The associate professor of epidemiology at Montreal’s McGill University has developed an interactive tracker that monitors global progress in developing a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

The vaccine tracker has weekly, real-time updates from each of the more-than-50 vaccines currently in human trials.

But it’s still too early to provide a realistic timeline for when a COVID-19 vaccine would be ready for the public.

“While there’s a lot of enthusiasm and while there’s a lot of hope that we’re going to have a vaccine in the coming year or so, we can’t really say for sure when that vaccine is going to be available,” said Basta.

Basta and fellow researchers at McGill University are also developing and updating a database detailing the characteristics of the vaccines in development around the world.

“So instead of people just hearing press releases and news headlines, they can go to a one-stop-shop and find out the whole scale of what’s happening around the world.”

Each vaccine has its own card, with an infographic showing which phase the vaccine is in – if it’s in clinical trials or if it has been approved – information about the developers, countries involved, and what type of vaccine it is.

There’s also an interactive community immunity tool within the tracker, through which you can simulate the spread of an imaginary disease and see how a vaccine would impact it.

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