The nation’s top expert on COVID-19 says even though a vaccine is expected by early 2021, it will likely be the end of next year before life gets to a pre-pandemic normal. NBC News reports Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says a COVID-19 vaccine should be approved within the next couple of months. However, it will be several more months before enough doses can be produced and distributed for the general public.
Fauci says the most vulnerable to the coronavirus will be first in line to receive the vaccine. This includes healthcare workers, those with underlying conditions, and the elderly. Dr. Fauci says the vaccine, when ready, will not be 100% effective and that if we’re lucky, the vaccine will be about 70 to 75% effective.
Once the vaccine is distributed, Fauci warns it will not signal the end of the public health measures that have been in place since the pandemic began last spring. Mask wearing and social distancing meant to keep the virus at bay, will allow us to get back to some sort of “normal” sooner.
Several vaccines being developed now in the United States are in the third and final stage of testing. Dr. Fauci expects to know if any of them work by November or December and possibly sooner.