If the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines goes smoothly, it might be possible to achieve widespread immunity among the US population by next summer, top scientist Anthony Fauci said.
In an interview with WebMD released on Wednesday, the infectious disease official suggested that people could have weddings as early as June or July.
Fauci said he believes that priority populations like nursing home residents, healthcare workers, critical workers, the elderly, high risk people, etc. should receive their shots by March or early April.
“We could start doing what I call the ‘open season’ for vaccination in April – everyone in the general population who wants to be vaccinated will be vaccinated.”
He continued, “By the middle or end of summer, if we get it right, we will be able to vaccinate 70 to 85 percent of the population.
“When that happens, there will be a protective shield across the country.”
When asked if people who had postponed their weddings to March or April 2021 had to postpone again, he replied, “You know, they should have done it by June, July.”
Fauci’s comments come after the US approved two emergency vaccines, one from Pfizer and BioNTech and one from Moderna and the National Institutes for Health.
Also on Tuesday, the Trump administration announced that it had purchased an additional 100 million doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. The vaccination should take place by July.
This brings the current U.S. supply of Covid-19 vaccines to 400 million doses – half from Pfizer and the other half from Moderna – and enables 200 million people to be immunized under the two-shot regime.
“Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will deliver at least 70 million cans by June 30, 2021, with the remainder of the 100 million cans being delivered no later than July 31, 2021,” said a Defense Department statement.
The agreement includes options for an additional 400 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
The U.S. is hoping to immunize 20 million people this month, with long-term care residents and health workers at the forefront.
On Sunday, a committee of experts said that people aged 75 and over, along with 30 million frontline essential workers, including teachers, grocery store clerks and police officers, should be the next to be vaccinated.
Governments are also hoping to see more vaccine maker approvals, with Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca next on the agenda.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)