Drugmakers will likely have tens of millions of doses of coronavirus vaccines ready in the early part of next year, says top US infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci.
Production would then be expected to ramp up to a billion doses by the end of 2021.
Fauci has told Reuters news agency he is hopeful the world will get past the pandemic that has claimed more than 700,000 lives by the end of next year with the help of a vaccine.
He says he has not seen any pressure from the White House to announce a successful US vaccine close to the November 3 election in the hopes of boosting President Donald Trump's re-election chances.
Fauci says health regulators have promised "they are not going to let political considerations interfere" with the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine and "safety and efficacy" will be primary considerations.
Fauci's interview coincided with Trump telling Fox News on Wednesday the virus was "going away. It will go away like things go away."
Fauci offered a more mixed assessment, saying some parts of the country had done well in containing the spread of the virus, while others were "on fire".
He characterised the varying responses to the virus as "disjointed" - owing to the size and diversity of the nation.
"I hope, and feel it's possible, that by the time we get through 2021 and go around for another cycle that we'll have this under control," he said.
Australian Associated Press