• We now have a rough estimate of when average Americans can expect to start receiving the coronavirus vaccine, assuming all goes well with the rollout.
  • White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci thinks ordinary Americans can expect to receive the coronavirus vaccine as soon as April.
  • If most people take the vaccine, Dr. Fauci also thinks that life could start returning to normal by the end of 2021.

If all goes as planned with the rollout of the first coronavirus vaccines in the US from companies like Pfizer and Moderna, the first Americans will start to be inoculated about a month from now. That’s a group of people that will include health care workers, who obviously need the protection of a vaccine before almost anyone else as a result of putting their lives on the line to care for people sickened by the virus. With COVID-19 cases surging across the US right now, though — Johns Hopkins University says we’re now up to almost 11.6 million since the start of the pandemic — that brings up an obvious question: What about the timing for everyone else?

White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has an answer. And it represents even more great news in what’s proven to be a lightning-fast, record-breaking achievement for scientific progress — bringing a successful vaccine to fruition in less than a year for a novel virus that was only first discovered months ago.


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Best guess, as things stand now and assuming all goes as planned regarding approvals and everything else, Dr. Fauci thinks that ordinary Americans can start getting inoculated with the coronavirus vaccine as early as April. Even better: If most people get vaccinated by the summer, then by the end of 2021 he thinks life will start to look a lot more normal again.

At that point, Dr. Fauci told the USA Today editorial board on Wednesday, “you can start talking about this umbrella or blanket of protection on society that would diminish dramatically the risk of a person being exposed or even being infected. When so many people are protected, that’s when you get into the real herd immunity.”

Of course, while this sounds incredible and a no-brainer in terms of something that Americans should want to do, Dr. Fauci acknowledges that there’s a very real skepticism among a large swath of the population. There is a skepticism of the health care system in general among some populations, such as Black Americans who said in a September survey that only 32% would get the coronavirus vaccine, which was down from 54% in May.

Here’s one way Dr. Fauci responds to that: By saying he’ll step right up himself to take the vaccine, once he’s allowed. “I understand, because of a lot of that noise that comes out of Washington that some of these governors or mayors … have concern about the process,” he told the newspaper’s editorial board.

Fauci continued, “When it gets approved by the FDA … I would take the vaccine and I would recommend that my family take the vaccine.”

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.