Dr. Fauci Says This Is When We Could See "Real Normality Again"
The nation's top immunologist offered this timeline for when life will get back to normal.
With spiking COVID-19 cases and debates over reopening schools making headlines these days, it can feel like returning to any sense of "normalcy" is just a distant concept. But now, the nation's top immunologist, Anthony Fauci, MD, has some encouraging news on when we might start to see some sense of normalcy… or at least start to talk about it. In a July 23 interview on the podcast The Axe Files with David Axelrod, Fauci said that, with the development and implementation of a COVID-19 vaccine, "we could start talking about real normality again" in 2021.
"The timetable you suggested of getting into 2021, well into the year, then I can think with a successful vaccine—if we could vaccinate the overwhelming majority of the population—we could start talking about real normality again," the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) told CNN's David Axelrod. "But it is going to be a gradual process."
Fauci revealed that the companies currently working on coronavirus vaccines have told him they "would have doses to the tunes of tens of millions early in the year, and up to hundreds of millions as we get well into 2021."
Fauci has often talked about the importance of reliable vaccines as a critical component of returning to some sense of normalcy. In May, he noted in a Senate hearing that opening schools in the fall would be a "bridge too far" because the vaccines necessary for that to happen would not be ready.
Since then, however, there has been a lot of encouraging news about COVID-19 vaccines. According to The New York Times, there are more than 165 coronavirus vaccines currently in development around the world, 27 of which are now in human trials.
While it typically requires years of research and testing before vaccines get to the public, this pandemic has scientists racing to produce a safe and effective vaccine by next year. Two vaccines, in particular, have received encouraging reports recently. One that's being developed by biotech company Moderna is entering phase 3 of its trials, and another vaccine being developed by Oxford University has also shown very encouraging results, according to the British medical journal The Lancet.
Fauci has developed something of a reputation for delivering coronavirus-related news that can be seen as either alarmist or realistic, depending on one's perspective. But the fact that the nation's top infectious disease doctor is confident enough to note publicly that vaccines will be available to "hundreds of millions" by 2021, well, that gives us all something to be hopeful for. And for more information on this, check out The Surprising Way You May Have to Get the Coronavirus Vaccine.