Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Thursday that return to a normal, post-Chinese coronavirus life depends both on vaccine rollout as well as a “rather strict adherence” to restrictions over the next several months.
Fauci repeated his prediction that life could return to normal by fall 2021 but again emphasized that it is largely contingent on “efficiently, quickly and effectively” rolling out the distribution of the vaccine, as well as “a rather strict adherence” to restrictions and rules, including social distancing and mask-wearing.
“It’s going to take several months. … It’s not going to happen in the first few months,” he said during a Thursday appearance on MSNBC.
“If we do it correctly, hopefully, as we get into the end of the summer, the beginning of the fall of 2021, we can start to approach some degree of normality,” he said, repeating the prediction made during last week’s appearance on PODCAST-19.
Fauci also discussed the vaccine rollout with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, noting that they hoped to have 20 million individuals vaccinated by December 31.
Nearly 2.8 million people in the U.S. had been vaccinated as of December 30, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We really need to rethink or think more intensively about how we’re going to reach out and help the states, help the states, and help the local authorities get this job done,” he said.
Last month, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director added that other mitigation measures, including universal masking and social distancing, would still be necessary, even after getting vaccinated.
“I would recommend you have an added area of protection,” Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper in November.
“Obviously, with 90 plus percent effective vaccine, you could feel much more confident, but I would recommend to people to not abandon all public health measures just because you’ve been vaccinated,” he continued, noting that “you don’t necessarily know for you how effective it is.”
Fauci added that he would not “abandon completely public health measures” upon getting vaccinated.
The 80-year-old received the Moderna vaccine earlier this month.