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Fauci sees light at the end of the tunnel

Coronavirus Daily

Fauci sees light at the end of the tunnel

Anthony Fauci would probably never use the word "normal" when discussing a return to life before the coronavirus pandemic. But the U.S. government's top infectious disease specialist came pretty close this past week.

Thanks to positive vaccine trial results from Pfizer and Moderna that he said surprised him, Fauci predicted that the overwhelming majority of Americans could be inoculated against Covid-19 by the second quarter of next year, leading to herd immunity by the fall.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Photographer: Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner

In an online news conference with Colorado Governor Jared Polis on Dec. 1, Fauci said people without pre-existing conditions or elevated risks will start getting access in April to the vaccines that will be considered by U.S regulators over the coming weeks. If Americans embrace immunization -- a big "if" given the political polarization of the pandemic and longstanding suspicion of vaccines in some communities -- most may get the shot before August comes to a close, he said.

"That means you would have herd immunity that would allow you to safely get people back to school in the fall, to safely get people back to the kinds of work that would otherwise be difficult as you get to the middle and the end of the summer," Fauci said.

Fauci, who was asked by President-elect Joe Biden to remain in his role in the new administration, wasn't all upbeat. He said the current surge is worse than the initial outbreak earlier in the year and that the holiday season poses risks if people fail to adhere to official advice to avoid social gatherings. The U.S. is adding more than 200,000 new cases a day.

But the fact that the nation's top virus doctor is now talking about the possibility of herd immunity within the next nine months is a bright spot in an otherwise dismal stretch of the pandemic. -- Mark Schoifet


Listen up


The Distribution Struggle

Weeks before U.S. states expect to get their first shipments of vaccines, they're getting conflicting messages from the federal government about how many doses may arrive. Some governors have made splashy announcements about how much of Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccines they expect to get if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorizes them this month. Other states can't provide a solid answer. 

Photographer: Patricia Suzara

Photographer: Patricia Suzara


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