Dr. Fauci predicts that the United States will have sufficient doses of coronavirus vaccines for the general public from APRIL
- Asked by CBS Evening News when the general public could be vaccinated against COVID-19, Dr Fauci predicted that there would be enough doses by April.
- “This will probably be in the first quarter of 2021, say April 2021.”
- He noted that this forecast suggests that approval processes run smoothly for all vaccines being developed in the United States.
- Trials of the Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Inovio shots are currently on hold for safety reasons
The best American expert on infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, believes that the average American can actually have a vaccine against coronavirus by April, he said on Wednesday.
“This will probably be in the first quarter of 2021, say April 2021,” Dr. Fauci told CBS Evening News.
His projected schedule does not match that of President Trump. At election rallies this week – after his own fight with the coronavirus – Trump promised his supporters that the vaccines were coming “very soon.”
Dr Fauci added that public access to COVID-19 vaccines by April was the best case scenario.
“This would be derived from the fact that all vaccines that are in clinical trials have proven to be safe and effective,” he added.
Attempts at three experimental vaccines – made by AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Inovio – are currently on hold due to potential safety concerns, although experts say these delays are not necessarily a cause for concern.
Dr. Fauci’s comments also stressed the importance of not only one but all vaccine candidates succeeding.
Operation Warp Speed, the White House’s program to fund and accelerate the development of coronavirus vaccines, aims to raise 300 million doses of vaccines, with the first doses available by January 2021.
Warp Speed has contracted with several vaccine manufacturers – including leaders Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson – for hundreds of millions of doses from each shot.
But senior health officials, including Health and Social Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Hazard, have made more modest estimates for 100 million doses by the end of the year, pending FDA approval, he told Congress.
Moderna said it could make 20 million doses by the end of the year.
Pfizer, a giant in the pharmaceutical world, believes it could make 100 million doses by the end of the year.
Their efforts will be complicated by stocks of vaccines made by the equally huge Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, the latter producing a vaccine designed by Oxford University.
But trials for both AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are now pending for safety reasons.
Changes to FDA rules make it virtually impossible for even the most remote trials to have enough data to provide regulators with urgent approval before the Nov. 3 election, the date by which President Trump eagerly insisted on a vaccine.
Even if paused attempts resume quickly and everything goes smoothly, the first doses of vaccines will not be available to everyone in the United States at once.
Tests for COVID-19 vaccines by Johnson & Johnson, Inovio and AstraZeneca are suspended for safety reasons in the United States (file)
Currently, most experts advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that the shots go first to health and frontline personnel and that people with major diseases such as heart disease and diabetes be vaccinated earlier.
Elderly people, who account for the majority of COVID-19 deaths, will also be directed to the front of the vaccine line.
Healthy young adults will have to wait for at-risk groups to be inoculated before it is their turn to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The CDC said Wednesday it may not recommend that children be vaccinated in the first wave of launches.
And the World Health Organization said on Wednesday that it could not be until 2022, before young, healthy people get their vaccines.
Despite the delays, Fauci’s prediction that the population could be vaccinated by the end of Q1 is still in line with his comments to Congress last month that the United States could have enough doses of coronavirus vaccine for all Americans by April.