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Dr. Fauci Just Revealed When You Can Get Your Vaccine

The infectious disease expert estimates when we can all get protection from COVID-19.
Doctor filling syringe with medication, closeup. Vaccination and immunization

With nearly 60,000 cases a day, America is seeing an alarming rise in coronavirus cases; the country just hit another daily record, it's sixth in ten days. In response, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, spoke with Anna Rothschild, on FiveThirtyEight's Podcast-19, about when things might finally go back to normal—and when you can get your vaccine.

1

Will We Ever Have the Virus Under Control?

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"I think we can get it under control. But keeping it under control is going to be the real problem. Because this virus is not like other viruses that we've experienced, like the original SARS from 2002. That was a coronavirus. It caused an outbreak, a pandemic — there were 8,000 cases and 800 deaths. So in magnitude alone, you see how different it is from what we're doing now. But it was not really very well and efficiently transmissible, whereas this virus, to our dismay, is spectacularly efficient in transmitting from person to person. So that makes me skeptical whether we would get permanent, sustained control of this without having a vaccine."

2

Will Things Ever Go Back to "Normal"?

Medical staff member with mask and protective equipment performs Coronavirus nasal swabs test tubes at drive-through testing point in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).
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"You know, I think we may be able to do that, but there's still, as long as there's a dynamics of an active outbreak, it's going to be very difficult to get back to a true normal. If you superimpose upon very good public health measures and superimpose the vaccine on that, even if the vaccine is not a hundred percent protected, let's say it's 70, 75% protective. If you can do that, combined with public health measures, I think we can get pretty close to some form of normality, right?"

3

Should Schools Reopen?

Mother puts a safety mask on her son's face.
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"I would like to state a principle so that people would understand it, that obviously we're going to be influenced by the dynamics of an outbreak in a particular region, but in general, we should try our best with ample consideration for the safety of the students and their parents. We should try if we possibly can to keep the schools open. And the reason is there are secondary spinoff consequences of closing schools that lead to unintended consequences of a ripple effect on what the parents do with regards to work about getting back to work and what you do about daycare centers and what you do about the lunches for children who rely on school to get maybe at least one good meal a day. Having said that, that doesn't mean if you have a big outbreak that you keep the schools open, you might have to reconsider it."

4

When Will a Vaccine Will Arrive?

Doctor filling syringe with medication, closeup. Vaccination and immunization
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"Well, I'll give a caveat and then I'll give you my opinion. The caveat is that whenever you're dealing with a vaccine, there's never a guarantee that if or when you're going to get a safe and effective vaccine, because there are so many bumps in the road and potholes when you're trying to develop a vaccine. But having said that, looking at the preliminary information that we have in the animal models, as well as the original phase one study that looked at safety and the beginnings of the ability to induce a good response, I have to say that I'm cautiously optimistic that with a number of candidates that are being pursued and will relatively soon go into a phase three trial to determine efficacy. I think we have a pretty good chance as we end this calendar year and get into 2021 that we'll have a safe and effective vaccine, or more than one that will able to be distributed."

5

When Can I Get a Vaccine?

Chemist Adjusts Samples in a Petri Dish with Pincers and then Examines Them Under Microscope
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"I would imagine that as we get to the beginning of 2021, that there will be tens of millions of doses to distribute and likely we, as we get into the first half of 2021, there will be hundreds of millions of doses."

6

How Can I Stay Healthy?

Woman and man in social distancing sitting on bench in park
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"And as an individual, no matter where you are given, what's going on in our country, physical distancing, six feet away, wear a mask, wash your hands, avoid crowds. Those are the things that everybody should be doing. So right now we're still in the middle of it. As you know, it's become well known. Now that people ask me, are you worried about the second wave? As I said it many times, we're right smack in the middle of the first wave. So before we start worrying about the second wave, let's get the heck out of the first wave, which is what we really need to do."

As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

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