CDC director warns of difficult fall, winter amid COVID-19

Dr. Robert Redfield issued a stark warning of the long road ahead while a new COVID-19 vaccine is showing some hope.
4:41 | 07/15/20

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Transcript for CDC director warns of difficult fall, winter amid COVID-19
In the meantime, we'll turn now to the latest on the coronavirus emergency. The head of the CDC warning that in the months ahead, we could face one of the most difficult public health situations the country has ever seen. But there is some promising news about one of the vaccine trials. Matt Gutman joins us now from Los Angeles with more on that. Good morning, Matt. Reporter: Hey, good morning. So much about re-opening safely especially at schools hinges upon vaccines. Now, modern out with the full results of its phase 1 trial, 45 people got the vaccine. All of them developed antibodies. Now, the question is, how long does the immunity from those antibodies last and how much immunity does it provide but as Dr. Anthony Fauci said, any way you slice it, it's good news. This morning, the vaccine created by U.S. Biotech company modern partnered with the nih is on its way to phase 3 of testing after its phase 1 trial found 45 of the people who were given the vaccine all developed covid antibodies. Our data demonstrated that, indeed, the more dose we give the higher immune response and I think it allowed us to nicely define what we believe is the optimal dose to take further into what are called late phase or phase 3 trials. Reporter: The nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci says the company and other vaccinemakers assure him they will be able to make up to a billion doses. I hope that that time will be reasonably soon. And when I say soon, I say within the next year 0 year and a half. Reporter: That glimmer of hope coming after sobering words from the CDC, warning it could be a long time before we see any light at the end of the tunnel. I do think the fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 will be probably one of the most difficult times we've experienced in American public health. Reporter: International beds are already filling up across the south and a FEMA document obtained by ABC news highlights hospitals in 33 states now reporting a shortage of health care workers. We are full. The vacancy light is off. Reporter: In California as the number of daily cases reaches over 7,000, new guidelines on who can be tested were released in the hopes of managing overcrowded lines. There is not a single appointment available in the entire city of L.A. At any one of these testing sites and now California public health officials are admitting that the results are taking so long that it has made contact tracing impossible. As the battle over what to do about school wages on, 36 students at one high school in Illinois testing positive after officials say many of the students took part in athletic camps and social events. In Florida, teachers asking their school districts to defy governor Desantis' order to resume in-person classes in August. When I signed up to teach I didn't sign up for hazardous duty, folks. I served 8 1/2 years in the military and never once feared for my life. I do now. What in the hell are we doing? Reporter: One of the biggest battles over schools brewing right here in southern California. The Orange county school board voting for in-person classes 24 fall without mandating for masks or social distancing. But already some school districts saying they're going to defy that saying they'll go online with remote learning from home this year. Matt Gutman, thanks so much. Dr. Jennifer Ashton joins us now, Dr. Ashton, results are in from moderna's first phase of the vaccine tested in the U.S. For the coronavirus. The results are very promising. Tell us what this means and how it affects the time line, if at all. So, Amy, when they're looking at these early data from these vaccine clinical trials they're looking primarily for two things, safety, number one, and efficacy and heard from Matt's piece there was a good antibody or immune response with so-called neutralizing or blocking antibodies, now they're going to be following those volunteers for up to a year to look for long-term safety and durability. How long will that protection last? When they go into phase 2 they'll increase their numbers, 600 volunteers, phase 3 which they said they will be starting this summer along with other developing groups around the world will then look at 30,000 volunteers. So they're collecting a lot of data. They're following safety and efficacy and, remember, the manufacturing would have to start at the end of 2020 to make millions and millions of doses. Wow. So much work ahead. All right, thanks so much. We appreciate your time, Dr. Jen Ashton.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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