- Nearly 11 months into the pandemic, coronavirus infections and deaths are still surging across the country.
- With Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine now being administered to healthcare workers, there’s newfound hope that the pandemic could end this year.
- According to Dr. Fauci, life could return to normal as early as this summer, provided enough people receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
With 2021 right around the corner, it’s fair to say that almost everything that happened in 2020 was shaped in some way by the coronavirus. In a broad sense, the coronavirus had a profound impact on politics, sports, and financial markets. On a more granular level, the coronavirus completely upended our everyday lives; masks became commonplace, unemployment soared, bars closed, and regular activities like eating at restaurants were banned in many states.
There is, however, good news on the horizon. After furious and non-stop work from a handful of pharmaceutical giants, we now have coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna that will hopefully help put the pandemic behind us. Pfizer’s vaccine received an EUA last week and Moderna’s vaccine will likely receive the same this week. In light of the above, Dr. Anthony Fauci recently articulated when he thinks life in the U.S. will finally be able to get back to normal.
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During a recent interview with CNN, Fauci said that a return to normalcy hinges on how many people take a COVID-19 vaccine. In order to reach herd immunity, Fauci previously explained that anywhere from 75-80% of Americans will need to receive a vaccine. Should this happen, Fauci believes life could return to normal as early as June.
“If we have a smooth vaccination program where everybody steps to the plate quickly,” Fauci said, “we could get back to some form of normality reasonably quickly into the summer and certainly into the fall.”
“My hope and my projection,” Fauci added, “is that if we get people vaccinated en masse so that we get that large percentage of the population, as we get into the fall, we can get real comfort about people being in schools, safe in school. That’s what I hope and project we would do if we get everybody vaccinated.”
One issue with achieving herd immunity — aside from convincing people to take a vaccine — involves the available number of doses. The quicker large quantities of vaccines can be manufactured, the quicker large segments of the population can take it. To this point, Dr. Fauci this week said that healthy Americans — in a best-case scenario — might be able to receive a coronavirus vaccine by the end of March or early April.
As promising and encouraging as that is, getting to that point will be incredibly tough. Not only are coronavirus infections and deaths still surging, but many ICUs at hospitals across the country are running out of room. This, coupled with the upcoming Christmas holiday, is why Dr. Fauci believes that January could very well be the worst month of the entire pandemic.