Jan 19, 2021 - Health

Fauci: U.S. could achieve herd immunity by fall if vaccine rollout goes to plan

Anthony fauci close up of wearing a mask
NIAID director Anthony Fauci. Photo: Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday that if the coronavirus vaccine rollout by the incoming Biden administration goes as planned, the U.S. could start to see effects of herd immunity and normalcy by early-to-mid fall.

What he's saying: "If we [vaccinate] efficiently in April, May, June, July, August, we should have that degree of protection that could get us back to some form of normality. ... But we've also got to do it on a global scale," he said at a Harvard Business Review virtual event.

  • "If we do it right, by the time you get to summer, you could have people in the stands at baseball games. Maybe not sitting right next to each other, but some degree of fan participation in an outdoor sport like baseball by the time we get to summer."

Why it matters: America is facing the problem experts anticipated — demand for the coronavirus vaccine is outstripping supply, especially now that nearly half of the U.S. population could be eligible for vaccines.

  • Fauci is currently the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and he'll be Biden's chief medical adviser working on the coronavirus pandemic.

What to watch: Fauci cited President-elect Biden's goal to vaccine 100 million people in 100 days as a good start.

  • More doses from Moderna and Pfizer are expected to increase by February through April, Fauci said, along with the optimism of the Johnson & Johnson trials. "I think we'll be able to do that," he said.
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