Dr. Anthony Fauci believes that the U.S. can go back to eating at restaurants and going to movie theaters by the fall of 2021 if enough people get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“So if we can get the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated by let’s say the end of the second, the beginning of the third quarter – by the time we get into mid-fall of 2021, we can be approaching some level of normality,” the top infectious disease expert told CNBC.
Fauci explained that 75%-85% of the population would need to be vaccinated in order for things to return to normal.
This would create an “umbrella” of immunity that would protect vulnerable populations who may not be able to get the vaccine.
“That would be able to protect even the vulnerables who have not been vaccinated, or those in which the vaccine has not been effective,”he added.
Fauci predicted there would be enough doses for all American by late March and early April 2021.
On Thursday, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted on Thursday to endorse Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine. This vote clears the way for FDA leaders to authorize emergency mass distribution. Moderna's study found that it provided 94% protection against COVID-19 in a study of 30,000 people.
It joins the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which was approved last week. The outlet noted that 2.9 million Pfizer doses were delivered across the U.S.
Most Americans will have to wait until 2021 to be eligible for the vaccine as frontline medical workers and those who are in the high-risk category are being prioritized.
Fauci explained that the goal is to have roughly 40 million doses by the end of the year, which would be enough for 20 million people as the vaccine requires two doses, the initial and the booster.
Currently, the National Institute of Health is awaiting doses, but Fauci plans to get vaccinated publicly when they arrive to “serve as an example of the importance of getting vaccinated.”