Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted the news could be in late November or early December, but warned that there would not be enough doses to vaccinate everyone before 2021.
His comments on Sunday come amid reports that there are plans for frontline NHS workers to get a Covid-19 vaccine within weeks.
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The post on Sunday Glen Burley, executive director of the NHS Trust at George Eliot Hospital in Warwickshire, had received an employee notice earlier this month stating that health care organizations had been directed “to be ready to start a vaccination program for coronavirus workers in early December “.
According to the newspaper, the memo added, “The latest findings are that a coronavirus vaccine should be available this year, with NHS staff having priority before Christmas.”
Mr Burley said the vaccine “is expected to be given in two doses 28 days apart”.
Appears on the BBCs Andrew Marr ShowDr. Fauci was asked if US President Donald Trump’s election debate claims that a Covid-19 vaccine may be in effect by the end of the year.
Dr. Fauci replied, “We will know by the end of November, early December if a vaccine is safe and effective.
“The question is, if you have a safe and effective vaccine, or more than one, how can you get it to the people who need it as quickly as possible?
“The amount of doses that will be available in December will certainly not be enough to vaccinate everyone. You have to wait several months until 2021. ”
He said healthcare workers are likely to come first with any vaccine, as are people who are at increased risk of complications.
Dr. Fauci added, “This could start late this year, early January, February, March next year.
“If you are talking about vaccinating a significant segment of the population so that you have a significant impact on the dynamics of the outbreak, it most likely will not be in the second or third quarter.”
Dr. Fauci expressed concern that the anti-science sentiment could affect vaccine uptake.
He told the BBC, “One of the things that worries me in the United States is that some anti-science may be translated into anti-vaccine.”
He added, “It would be a real shame if we had a safe and effective vaccine, but a significant proportion of people don’t want to take the vaccine because they don’t trust the authority.
“That would be really unfortunate if that were the case.”
Dr. Fauci said a potential coronavirus vaccine, along with public health measures, could help move the US toward “some form of normalcy” over the next year.
He said, “I think if we get a vaccine and get people vaccinated … we will get closer to some form of normal over a period of several months to 2021, depending on how many people, what proportion of people are taking the vaccine.
“That should involve a certain amount of public health action.
“I don’t think a vaccine alone can get us back to normal.
“What I foresee is that with a successful vaccine and the continuation of some form of public health action through the months of 2021 through the third and fourth quarters, we will see a sizeable approach to some form of normalcy. ”
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