Army researchers say a COVID-19 vaccine could be available by the end of the year

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Fake blood is seen in test tubes labelled with the coronavirus (COVID-19) in this illustration taken March 17, 2020.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior U.S. army vaccine researcher said on Tuesday it was reasonable to expect that some sort of coronavirus vaccine could be available to some parts of the U.S. population by the end of the year.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper vowed on May 15 that the U.S. government would in collaboration with the private sector produce a vaccine to treat the American people and partners abroad by the year-end.

Col. Wendy Sammons-Jackson, director of the Military Infectious Disease Research Program, told a Pentagon news briefing it was "reasonable to expect that there will be some form of a vaccine that could be available at some level, to a certain population by the end of the year."

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom, Carl O'Donnell and Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Chris Reese)