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Dr. Anthony Fauci said the US could achieve “herd immunity” by late spring or early summer, now that a COVID-19 vaccine is finally rolling out.
“The real bottom line is when do you get the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated so that you can get that umbrella of herd immunity?” Fauci told MSNBC reporter Hallie Jackson on Monday.
“I believe if we’re efficient about it and we convince people to get vaccinated, we can accomplish that by the end of the second quarter of early 2021, namely by the end of the late spring [or] early summer.”
The nation’s top infectious disease expert has previously said that around 75 percent to 80 percent of the population would need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity in the nation.
The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on Monday also predicted that Americans with no underlying conditions will start to get the vaccine at the end of March or the beginning of April.
“It’s really going to depend on the efficiency of the rollout,” Fauci said.
He also said he believes life could start returning to normal in the fall with the help of widespread vaccination.
“By the time that we get into the fall, we can start approaching some degree of relief where the level of infection will be so slow in society we can start approaching some form of normality,” Fauci said.
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine began shipping out Sunday — and a New York City critical nurse was the first in the nation to receive the shot Monday.