Don’t expect a vaccine against COVID-19 to be widely available earlier than months into 2021, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, spoke to The Washington Post on Friday and said “I believe we will likely have” a COVID-19 vaccine “either by the end of this year or the beginning of 2021.” Later on, though, the Post asked: what’s the earliest that a coronavirus vaccine could actually be widely available to the public? That would be further into the year, Fauci explained.
“I think as we get into 2021, several months in, that you would have a vaccine that would be widely available to people in the United States,” Fauci said.
Fauci did say he believes it’s “likely” for there to be “tens of millions of doses” of a COVID-19 vaccine available by the beginning of the year, but he said it would be “as we get into 2021” that there would be “hundreds of millions of doses,” according to companies working on vaccine candidates.
Although Fauci expects answers as to whether a coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective to come at the end of this year or beginning of next year, a piece in The Atlantic on Friday explains that a vaccine “will only mark the beginning of a long, slow ramp down,” especially because “an initial vaccine might limit COVID-19’s severity without entirely stopping its spread.” Former Food and Drug Administration chief scientist Jesse Goodman told The Atlantic, “Even when a vaccine is introduced, I think we will have several months of significant infection or at least risk of infection to look forward to.” Brendan Morrow