Fauci pushes back widespread vaccine timeline to 'late May, early June'

By , KCBS Radio

Those Americans not in a priority group hoping to get their coronavirus vaccine before the summer might have to wait an additional two months before the shots are available to them, according to the nation’s top infectious disease expert.

"If you start talking about when (a) vaccine would be more widely available to the general population, I was hoping that would be by the end of April," Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday. He told CNN his earlier prediction for "open season" on vaccine eligibility was "predicated on the (Johnson & Johnson) product having considerably more doses than now we know they’re going to have."

The one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine remains under review for emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are two doses.

"That timeline will probably be prolonged maybe into mid-to-late May and early June," Dr. Fauci added.

Beyond that, he explained "the whole process is gonna take a few months to actually get implemented," meaning the biggest chunk of Americans won’t get vaccinated for several months.

"Let’s say in May vaccines are going to be widely available to almost anybody…but it may take until June, July and August to finally get everyone vaccinated," the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said. "So when you hear about how long it’s going to take to get an overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated, I don’t think anybody disagrees that’s going to be well to the end of the summer and we get in the early fall."

President Joe Biden has pledged to have enough doses of the coronavirus vaccine for "every American" by the end of July.

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