Everyone is eagerly awaiting a coronavirus vaccine, along with its promise of life returning to normalcy, so when the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it plans to vaccinate every American by the end of first quarter 2021, headlines were made. Not so fast, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease expert, in an interview with Bloomberg TV soon after that announcement. Fauci, who has been a pragmatic and fact-based voice during the pandemic, described what could affect timing of a vaccine and offered his best-case scenario. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Fauci Disagrees With the Government's Prediction
In response to the Department of Health and Human Services' proposed timing—to vaccinate everyone by the end of March 2021—Fauci said that was "possible," but "logistically that is going to be tough."
The Type of Vaccine Is Key
Fauci said the rollout timing would be affected by which vaccine is ultimately approved and how many doses are necessary for each person. "Remember, it depends on what the vaccine is," he said. "If it's the Moderna vaccine, it's a prime [shot] followed by a boost [booster shot] 28 days later. So I think we need to be careful."
Making the Vaccine Is One Thing, But…
"As you get to the end of the first quarter , there'll be hundreds of millions of doses," of a vaccine, Fauci said, but it's another matter to actually get the vaccine administered. "I think it's more towards the middle to the end of the year  that you could get people vaccinated," said Fauci.
How a Vaccine Can Be Approved That Fast
But Fauci said that before the end of the year, a vaccine "will have been made available … either by the formal approval or by an emergency use authorization."
Fauci's Bottom Line
Fauci said he would give "a firm answer" on vaccine timing, and made his prediction: "By the end of 2020, namely, November or December, I feel reasonably confident that there will be one or more vaccines that will be begun being made available to the American public."
In the Meantime, Here's How to Avoid COVID-19
As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.