Hours after Trump claims coronavirus vaccine 'very close' US officials say it's at least a year away
President Donald Trump welcomed a court decision that allows military funds to be used to build the US-Mexico border wall (AFP Photo/CHIP SOMODEVILLA)

U.S. officials on Tuesday said that a vaccine for the coronavirus is at least a year away after President Donald Trump said it would be ready soon.


At a event in New Delhi, Trump said that he had asked Congress for $2.5 billion to fight the coronavirus and to find a vaccine.

“Now they have studied it, they know very much. In fact, we are very close to a vaccine,” he said.

Trump also predicted that the virus is "a problem that’s going to go away."

But just hours later, U.S. officials reportedly told senators that a vaccine could take 12 to 18 months to develop.

“The vaccine for the coronavirus is moving more rapidly than any vaccine we have already tried to approve - but it will take a year or 18 months," Sen. Lamar Alexander told CNN's Manu Raju. "The way to stop [an outbreak] is quarantine and monitoring.”