The U.S. doesn’t have enough of the COVID-19 vaccine to innoculate everybody right now and likely won’t have the appropriate supplies for months to come, said Dr. Anthony Fauci.
This announcement signals a pushed-back timeframe for when the COVID-19 vaccine will be readily available to the public. Widespread availability is now expected in May or June, he said.
Originally, Fauci had hoped there would be enough vaccine available for the U.S. population to have easy access to COVID-19 inoculations by the end of April.
So far, 55.2 million vaccines - out of a 71.6 million supply - have been administered in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As of Wednesday, Feb. 17, nearly 40 million Americans had received one or more doses of the vaccine. About 15 million people have received both necessary doses, the CDC said.
Going by Fauci's estimates, it could be mid-September before the U.S. is able to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine to everyone.
Fauci, who is President Biden's chief medical advisor, made the forecast on Tuesday, Feb. 16, during a CNN interview.
When Fauci first said there would be enough COVID-19 vaccine for everybody by the end of April it was based on having “considerably more doses” of vaccine from Johnson & Johnson than what the U.S. has now.
The J&J vaccine is yet to be authorized, but positive outcomes in late-stage clinical trials could encourage the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to give the vaccine emergency approval by the end of February, Business Insider reported.
Fauci has previously noted the importance of having an appropriate COVID-19 vaccine supply so that there are no delays between the first and second doses. Such a breakdown could lead to the development of COVID-19 mutant viruses.
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