Vaccine Watch: When will a COVID-19 vaccine be ready?

With mixed messages in Washington about the race for a vaccine, ABC News’ Bob Woodruff sat down with NIH's director, Francis Collins, to discuss when Americans should expect an available vaccine.
4:04 | 09/17/20

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Transcript for Vaccine Watch: When will a COVID-19 vaccine be ready?
Turning back now to the race for a vaccine after those mixed messages in Washington today on when the American public will see one widely available. It comes as the death told from the corona virus is set to hit a sobering milestone in the coming week with 200000. Americans losing their lives to the pandemic. So for reality check on where a vaccine stands are Bob Woodruff sat down with the director of the National Institutes of Health. For our latest vaccine watch. An important question for many finally answered today operation warp speed officials announced that any Covert nineteen vaccine produced an approved in the US. We'll be absolutely free. The news announced today during a press conference would operation warp speed officials. In terms of a principal and an aspiration it'll be that no American. Have to pay a single dime out of pocket. To get a vaccine. Operation warp speed is an initiative to have millions of doses ready to ship once a vaccine is given FDA approval. However the officials say they still don't know how or when Americans will get them. This didn't see really are quite extraordinary. Logistically. Complex undertaking. And a lot of uncertainties right now. But the president has been touting the speed of vaccine development office in Philadelphia last night once again promising potential approval. Before Election Day we're within weeks of getting it you know could be three weeks four weeks. The director of national institutes of health and doctor Anthony found she's direct boss told us this timeline is much more complicated. I would expect that if we have a vaccine that's screwed by December. By this spring most Americans. Have a chance to read and certainly by a mile and one. We ought to be pretty plants. Director Collins and his team at the NIH aren't direct coordination what many of the top vaccine developers including AstraZeneca. A company whose vaccine trials hit a speed ball last week ads are. Any other cases where people have gotten sick those that are involved had actually volunteer to do its. And added these other companies need each other trials I heard no instances. What would be called us your worst audience despite what seems to be promising late stage human trials. A large portion of the public. Remain skeptical doesn't shock Q and all our calls that there was this Gallup poll says that one out of every three Americans would not get. Vaccinated it troubles degrade bit people have already arrived to join us. Foreigners sensible people you'd want to wait until you see the actual date about an exit wrists or you've made that this did we really want to be able to get past terrorists. We're going to need to get to a place where something like 70%. The public is no longer it risks for over ninety. Urge you raising heroin is by getting sick or disease. Not a good solution for people who remain survived the illness ER it Reyes and harassing. And if the US falls behind the question remains. Would America except the vaccine developed on foreign soil. I think Dave good news we were interest and we were convinced that they are safe bet you obviously we Qaeda. Believe that our system in the US say is more rigorous and he would have to be really convince the that a back seat coming from Russia and China. It was the right thing for our people but I don't think we would rule that out if it turns out here is all successfully and we ran into a serious speed bumps when Aaron harper. Despite the uncertain time line Collins believes there could be as many as 800 million vaccine doses available by mid next year. Officials from operation warp speed say they're prepared to ship dose is the first responders and those most at risk. The moment FDA grants approval. This is bottled tracking the race for a vaccine. Our thanks to Bob Woodruff for that report.

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

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