vaccine

Updated at 9:00 a.m. ET

Researchers in Britain are preparing to start a controversial COVID-19 "human challenge" study in which dozens of healthy volunteers will be exposed to live coronavirus in an effort to speed up vaccine development.

President Trump, who has for months been at loggerheads with public health experts on how best to contain the coronavirus pandemic, on Monday called Dr. Anthony Fauci a "disaster" and complained that Americans are tired of hearing from "these idiots," according to media reports of a call between Trump and campaign staff.

In case you were still procrastinating getting a flu shot this year, here's another reason to make it a priority.

There's a chance the vaccine could offer some protection against COVID-19 itself, says virologist Robert Gallo, who directs the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and is chairman of the Global Virus Network.

President Trump on Friday said "every American" will have a vaccine for the coronavirus available by April, escalating already ambitious goals to fast-track a vaccine for the virus that has killed nearly 200,000 people in the United States.

Updated at noon ET

The U.S. Senate is holding a hearing Wednesday on the development of vaccines aimed at eradicating the coronavirus amid escalated political rhetoric regarding the potential effectiveness of a fast-tracked vaccine.

As President Trump has promised to expedite treatments against the virus that has killed nearly 190,000 Americans, he has appeared publicly rankled by critics who question his handling of the pandemic and those who are skeptical of the viability of a safe vaccine in such record time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently sent guidance to states on how to prepare to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine. The agency asked for a distribution plan as soon as October and said that vaccination sites should be ready by Nov. 1. Those dates caught a lot of people off guard and set off some alarm bells that political pressure was tainting the process.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET Thursday

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked states to prepare to distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine as soon as late October, according to a series of planning documents sent to public health officials last week.

A CDC spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the documents in an email to NPR on Wednesday. The documents were first published by The New York Times.

Urging countries to join a global vaccine agreement, the head of the World Health Organization on Tuesday reiterated concerns that, once developed, drugs to prevent COVID-19 might be hoarded by some countries at the expense of others.

Speaking in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued a call to avoid "vaccine nationalism" by joining the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility – a pact aimed at ensuring access to such drugs around the world.

The federal government has reached a deal worth up to $2.1 billion with drugmakers Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline as part of Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration's push to have a coronavirus vaccine widely available by early 2021.

The money will go toward clinical trials, scaling up manufacturing and purchasing 100 million doses of the vaccine.

Americans continue to wait in long lines to get tested for the coronavirus. Many then face frustration and anxiety waiting days — sometimes even weeks — to get their results.

Could technology finally solve the testing woes that have hobbled the nation's ability to fight the pandemic? The National Institutes of Health hopes so.

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