U.S. Sees Deadly Forecast Become Reality

As toll reaches 100,000, race to vaccine unlikely to discover 'magic bullet' anytime soon.
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Earlier this month, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that by June the U.S. could see 100,000 deaths from the novel coronavirus. 

That prediction by the CDC's Dr. Robert R. Redfield is looking more and more likely to come true.

As of Sunday afternoon, more than 97,000 have died in America from the disease, according to Johns Hopkins disease-tracking map. More than 1.6 million Americans also are known to have or have had the disease Covid-19, which is caused by the coronavirus. 

That's well over a fifth of the known global tally.

Emerging as new hot spots, Russia and Brazil, both are among the top three nations hit by the virus, clocking in around 350,000 cases each. The United Kingdom is No. 4 and Spain No. 5, both with around 250,000 known cases.

Now the world is pinning hopes that a vaccine will be created by one of several companies including Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Report, which recently released some positive data on a very tiny early phase 1 trial on a handful of participants. 

But, as the U.S. and elsewhere look to begin reopening amid the crisis, the odds of having a widely available shot against the virus even within 18 months appears increasingly shaky.

"What we need is not one vaccine. The world actually needs multiple vaccines, because there are seven billion people in the world," Dr. Dan Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, told Chuck Todd on NBC News' "Meet the Press" on Sunday. 

"This is not a race to be first. This is a global cooperation, in which multiple regions of the world and multiple companies need to work together to develop vaccines for a very, very large number of people."

Another doctor, Dr. Peter Hotez of Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, told Todd on "Meet the Press" that any one vaccine, even if it comes to market, may not be completely effective, in the same way the annual flu shot can offer only partial protection, or sometimes virtually none at all.

"It's quite possible, you know ... what we’re seeing from some vaccines is that they're partially protective, meaning they don't protect 100%, but they may reduce hospitalization and death, which is still very important. The point is the first vaccines released out of the starting gate, in say a year from now or a year and a half from now, may not be the ones we wind up with," said Hotez. "History tells us that they get replaced with new and improved vaccines. So this is a gradual process, it's not like there's going to be a magic bullet a year from now. It'll take time. We'll see new and improved vaccines and -- but things will get better."