Fauci Sticks With Projection of Vaccine in 2021

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during a House Subcommittee hearing on the coronavirus crisis, on Capitol Hill in Washington, in July. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP/File)

Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview that he’s sticking with his projection that a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine may be ready in early 2021. He said it’s possible it could be sooner, but “unlikely.”

The White House adviser on the coronavirus told CBS “the more likely scenario is that we will know by the end of this calendar year and hopefully we’ll be able to start vaccinations in earnest as we begin early 2021.”

Fauci said that it’s routine for late-stage vaccine studies to be put on hold because of side effects. A study by AstraZeneca of a potential coronavirus vaccine was recently paused for safety reasons after an illness from a shot in a recipient in Britain.

He said it’s “really one of the safety valves that you have on clinical trials such as this.”

Fauci added people should remain vigilant about wearing masks, keeping physical distance and avoiding crowds to help prevent future surges.

The United States leads the world in coronavirus cases with 6.3 million and nearly 190,000 deaths.

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