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Dr. Fauci Says Vaccine is "Right Around the Corner"

But there are important things to do now to stay healthy.

The news that a potential coronavirus vaccine is 90% effective is "extraordinary," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease expert, on Monday, predicting a vaccine will begin being dispersed before the end of the year. "It's extraordinary. It is really a big deal," said Fauci on CNN, referring to the report from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer on a late-stage trial involving more than 38,000 people. "There's still some questions about the durability of the effect, about how effective it is in the elderly versus younger people, but the bottom line is as a vaccine, it's more than 90% effective, which is extraordinary and will play a major role in what the outcome of this is going to be." Read on to see when it may be available for you, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

May indicate another vaccine candidate will work too

Experts had previously hoped a vaccine candidate would be 50% to 70% effective.

Fauci also noted that the Pfizer vaccine is notable because it's created from MRNA, as is another potential vaccine from Moderna, which is due to release the results of its trials soon. "It is likely that we're going to have more than one vaccine that's effective. The fact that that worked with this vaccine harbors very well for future vaccines against COVID."

But, Fauci added, "I want to make sure that people understand that it's good because we know there's light at the end of the tunnel, but that doesn't mean that we're going to give up the important public health measures that we continually still have to do every single day."

Several other health officials besides Dr. Fauci have warned that Americans will need to practice those measures—including wearing a face mask in public, social distancing, avoiding large gatherings and practicing good hand hygiene—for several months into 2021, because it's unclear how soon enough people will be able to get the vaccine to stem the pandemic.

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Says You Don't Have to Do This Anymore to Avoid COVID

Vaccinations to begin 'very likely before the end of this year'

Fauci predicted that Pfizer will be applying "within the next week-and-a-half or so" for emergency-use authorization and approval of the vaccine. "Which means if that goes along smoothly, we may have doses that we're able to give to people by the end of November, at the beginning of December, probably well into December," said Fauci. "Now, again, you have to go through the hoops of making sure all the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed about the safety and the regulatory aspects of it. But we would be giving vaccine to people very likely before the end of this year. That is good news."

As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor. Read more about Michael
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