Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top expert on infectious diseases, said Thursday that coronavirus vaccines won’t put an end to the virus, but they will help end the pandemic soon.
“I doubt we’re gonna eradicate this, I think we need to plan that this is something we may need to maintain control over chronically,” Fauci told a panel in London, CNN reported. “It may be something that becomes endemic that we have to just be careful about.
“Certainly it’s not going to be pandemic for a lot longer because I believe the vaccines are going to turn that around,” he said.
Pfizer, one of several companies working on a vaccine, announced Monday that the vaccine it is developing has an efficiency rate of more than 90%.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has stressed in recent months that enough people need to get vaccinated once able for the vaccines to work, a point he reiterated later Thursday.
“I want to just repeat the message that I keep saying over and over again, that help is really on the way,” he said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Health care providers and medically vulnerable groups will be first in line to receive any vaccine once available, Fauci said, but widespread distribution isn’t far off.
“Over the months from December, which is when it will start … we hope that by the time you get into the second quarter, end of April, early May, June, somewhere around that time, the ordinary citizen should be able to get it,” he said.