According to the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Americans are closer to a COVID-19 vaccine that may restore a sense of normalcy.
However, the doctor said that widespread availability would probably not happen until next year.
“We will know whether a vaccine is safe and effective by the end of November, beginning of December,” Fauci said. “The amount of doses that will be available in December will not certainly be enough to vaccinate everybody -- you’ll have to wait several months into 2021.”
Fauci added that the vaccination of a “substantial proportion of the population” that could have a “significant impact on the dynamics of the outbreak” may not be possible until mid-April.
As for present day, even though COVID-19 cases are increasing across the country, Fauci is not ready to support a national lockdown.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said the pandemic would have to get “really, really bad” before he could advise that drastic change. Fauci, who is on President Trump’s coronavirus task force, said the country is “fatigued with restrictions.”
“So we want to use public health measures, not to get in the way of opening the economy, but to being a safe gateway to opening the economy,” Fauci said. “So instead of having an opposition: Open up the economy [to] get jobs back, or shut down. No. Put ‘shut down,’ away and say, ‘We’re going to use public health measures to help us safely get to where we want to go.”
The doctor also expressed concern about the uptick in cases being reported in many states across the U.S.
Fauci has also continued to stress the importance of maintaining safety protocols like mask-wearing, social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings to help slow the spread of the novel virus.