Dr. Anthony Fauci Predicts April Will Be 'Open Season' for COVID Vaccine
While Fauci expects "virtually anybody and everybody" to be eligible for a vaccine by April, getting the shots into people's arms will likely "take several more months"
In an interview with Savannah Guthrie on Thursday's episode of the Today show, the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden said of the vaccine, "By the time we get to April, that will be what I would call open season."
"Virtually everybody and anybody, in any category, could start to get vaccinated," continued Fauci, 80.
That being said, "It would likely take several more months, just logistically, to get vaccine into people's arms," he clarified.
"Hopefully, as we get into the middle and end of the summer, we can have accomplished the goal of what we're talking about — namely, the overwhelming majority of people in this country having gotten vaccinated," Fauci added.
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Also in his conversation with Guthrie, 49, Fauci said that the vaccines in circulation now in the U.S. — those from Pfizer and Moderna — "seem to do well against [the] U.K. variant" of the virus that is spreading throughout the country.
"The sobering news is that it does spread more rapidly; we know that from the U.K. experience," he said. "What we do then is two things: One, step up the public-health measures of the masking, the physical distancing, the things we talk about all the time."
"[Along] with making sure we, very expeditiously, get people vaccinated as quickly as we possibly can," Fauci stressed. "If we do those two things, as serious as we take this variant, we will be able to meet that challenge."
As of Thursday morning, over 33.7 million Americans have received at least one dose of either Pfizer or Moderna's vaccine, while abut 10.5 million have received both scheduled doses, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
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Speaking about Biden's ambitious goal of giving out 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses a day during his first 100 days in office, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Thursday on Today that they are "going to stick to that plan."
"I don't think late February we're going to have vaccine in every pharmacy in this country," Walensky said. "We said 100 million doses in the first 100 days, and we're going to stick to that plan, but also want to be very cognizant of the fact that after 100 days, there are still a lot of Americans who need vaccine, so we have our pedal to the metal to make sure we can get as much vaccine out there."
Late last month, Johnson & Johnson announced "promising" results from their vaccine trials, sharing that their vaccine is 66% effective overall in preventing moderate to severe COVID 28 days after vaccination. Additionally, it is 85% effective overall against severe COVID illness.
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