Scores of COVID-19 vaccine candidates using a variety of approaches are being developed and tested at unprecedented speed [File: Dado Ruvic/Reuters]

The United States cannot count on the availability of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, the government’s top infectious diseases expert said on Tuesday, and he warned that the daily surge in cases could more than double if Americans fail to take steps to get the virus under control.

California, Texas and many other states have reported record increases in new cases of the sometimes deadly illness caused by the novel coronavirus, leading to a sobering reassessment of US efforts to contain the pandemic.

“It’s extremely important to have safe and effective vaccines available for everyone in this country,” Dr Anthony Fauci,

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