A Covid-19 likely won't be "widely available" to people in the US until "several months” into next year, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday.
“I think as we get into 2021, several months in, that you would have [a] vaccine that would be widely available to people in the United States,” Fauci told the Washington Post’s Robert Costa during a Post Live event.
It is a clear acknowledgement that although the federal government hopes at least one experimental vaccine candidate would be proven to safely protect people against coronavirus before the end of this year, it would take months to get through the approval process, manufactured and widely distributed.
"I think the key word there, Bob, is widely available,” Fauci said.
"I think we will likely know whether a vaccine is safe and effective given the number of Phase 3 trials that are starting literally next week,” Fauci added. “And there are some in other countries that are already ongoing — that we should know by the end of December of this year, the beginning of next year."
Fauci noted that some companies have claimed they could have a vaccine available before the end of the year. “There are some companies that claim that might be a month or two sooner. I'm a little skeptical about that, but, you know, anything is possible,” he said.
"It is likely that in the beginning of next year we would have tens of millions of doses available," he added. "The companies who are involved in making these vaccines, many of which the federal government is in deep collaboration with, promised that as we get into 2021, there will be hundreds of millions of doses. And then maybe sometime thereafter billions of doses,” Fauci continued.