Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Jim Sciutto Tuesday he thinks the process of widespread vaccinations will likely start in the spring and large portions of the public will be able to be vaccinated by the end of the summer.
Fauci acknowledged that previous estimates had placed vaccine availability for the general public closer to the end of April. He said vaccine availability to large parts of the public could depend on the Johnson & Johnson candidate, which has not yet been given emergency use authorization but is in the process.
“If you start talking about when vaccine would be more widely available to the general population, I was hoping that that would be by the end of April, namely, have gone through all the priorities and now say, OK anyone can get it,” Fauci said. “That was predicated on J&J, the Johnson product, having considerably more doses than now we know they’re going to have.”
“So, that timeline will probably be prolonged, maybe into mid-to-late May and early June, that’s fine,” Fauci said.
Johnson & Johnson will have fewer than 10 million vaccine doses available if the US Food and Drug Administration authorizes it for emergency use in the coming weeks, a federal health official told CNN earlier this month.
The official said the number of doses available would be in the single-digit millions, but that number would ramp up to 20 or 30 million doses by April.
The FDA has scheduled its meeting of independent experts to evaluate the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and make a recommendation on Feb. 26.