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Dr. Peter Hotez (@peterhotez) is the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine (@bcmhouston) in Houston and co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, as well as Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, (@mebottazzi) associate dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development.
What is the biggest question regarding the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?
Biggest question is whether the Chinese can slow or halt this epidemic without a vaccine? Or will this spread across the country? Also how can we accelerate the development of a vaccine to ensure it will be available in time?
Why is it significant?
An effective and safe vaccine would be able to complement other public health strategies reducing the likelihood of the nCoV spreading across China and other countries.
Where is the answer likely to come from?
I believe the answer will depend on the mutual interest of China and the US to demonstrate good faith partnering on vaccine development. Neither can go it alone. In the coming weeks we will not only gather data on the new nCoV but also determine whether advanced vaccines currently in development for SARS can cross-protect, greatly accelerating the feasibility of advancing new vaccines through safety testing.
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