Story at a glance
- “If you think of it metaphorically, the cavalry is coming here,” Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
- Fauci said he expects vaccines will begin to be deployed in December and early next year.
- He stressed that people should wear masks, social distance and wash their hands to avoid a second lockdown.
As the United States is currently experiencing a record-breaking number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert is assuring Americans that help is on the way.
“If you think of it metaphorically, the cavalry is coming here,” Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said during an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“Vaccines are going to have a major positive impact. They’re going to start being implemented and deployed in December,” Fauci said. “So if we could just hang in there, do the public health measures that we’re talking about, we’re going to get this under control, I promise you.”
On Monday, Pfizer said its vaccine proved to be more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in an interim analysis. The pharmaceutical company is now set to apply for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration by the third week of November.
Pfizer is aiming to deliver doses to health care workers and the most vulnerable by the end of the year and general vaccination programs are expected by the end of March to early April.
The positive news appears to have arrived just on time as the U.S. is currently averaging more than 124,000 daily new cases and more than 1,000 new deaths, according to The COVID Tracking Project. On Wednesday, the nation reported a record 144,270 cases in a single day. Meanwhile, more than 65,000 are hospitalized with COVID-19, the highest number of hospitalizations since the pandemic began.
The surge has prompted worry about potential lockdowns, but Fauci says that can be avoided if people adhere to public health measures such as universal mask-wearing, social distancing and hand-washing.
“The best opposite strategy to locking down is to intensify the public health measures short of locking down. So if you can do that well, you don’t have to take that step that people are trying to avoid which has so many implications both psychologically and economically,” he said.
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