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Anthony Fauci told PBS NewsHour on Thursday that he expects the U.S. could “be as good [as] back to normal as we possibly can” by the end of 2021 if a coronavirus vaccine becomes widely available.
The big picture: Fauci made clear that this would not mean the virus is eradicated, saying, “We can get it under good enough control that it is so low that it doesn’t interfere with the kind of normal life that we want to get the economy back, to get employment back.”
- “I do not think it is going to be 2024. I think it’s going to be more like the end of 2021.”
The state of play: Several vaccine candidates have entered human trials, though their effectiveness might not be what Americans are used to.
- Fauci said last week that there are “not great” chances that an eventual vaccine will be 98% effective, arguing instead that the vaccine would likely reduce a person’s risk of infection by 50% or 60%.
- The FDA says it will only require a 50% effectiveness rate for approval.
- “You’ve got to think of the vaccine as a tool to be able to get the pandemic to no longer be a pandemic, but to be something that’s well controlled,” Fauci added.