Given the nation’s vaccination pace, America’s leading expert on COVID-19 predicts that shots will be available to anyone in the general public by April.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC “Today” on Thursday that a multi-faceted approach involving pharmacies, community vaccine centers and mobile units will together accelerate the country’s vaccination pace into the spring.
“I would imagine by the time we get to April, that will be what I would call for [lack of] better wording, ‘open season,’ namely virtually everybody and anybody in any category could start to get vaccinated,” Fauci said.
He predicted it would take several more months after April to get vaccine into people’s arms, adding, “hopefully as we get into the middle and end of the summer we could’ve accomplished the goal of what we’re talking about, namely the overwhelming majority of people in this country having gotten vaccinated.”
Fauci previously speculated in December that the U.S. might see “open season” around the end of March, or the beginning of April. Starting general public vaccinations in April would mean reaching herd immunity around the end of summer, he had added.
Though Fauci had been accused of moving the goalposts on the percentages required for herd immunity, in December he estimated that 75% to 80% of the country’s population will need to get vaccinated before the U.S. can hit the milestone and begin to see some semblance of normalcy.
According to data from the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), over 44.8 million doses have been administered in the U.S., and about 10.5 million people have received two doses. President Biden indicated Monday that his administration is on track to surpass its goal of administering 100 million vaccine doses during his first 100 days in office.
A seven-day moving average from the CDC has recorded more than 1 million vaccines administered everyday from Jan. 24 to Feb. 5, when the most recent data was available.
Fox News’ Peter Aitken contributed to this report.