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Fauci hopeful on COVID vaccine by spring, will be biggest vax effort in U.S. history

President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, listen as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony S. Fauci delivers remarks during a coronavirus update briefing Thursday, April 16, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo/Flickr)
November 17, 2020

Help is on the way, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, in the form of a COVID-19 vaccine that will launch the country’s biggest vaccination effort in history.

Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, said “the cavalry is coming” in the form of vaccines. He said, “Help is really on the way.”

Fauci told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday that vaccines being developed “are going to have a major positive impact” once they start being deployed in December and early into next year. He says he hopes by April, May and June “the ordinary citizen should be able to get” a vaccine.

While Americans wait, Fauci said a national lockdown can be avoided if people buckle down on wearing a mask, hand washing and social distancing.

“If we can just hang in there, do the public health measures we talked about, we are going to get this under control I promise you,” Fauci said.

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The chaos of the 2020 presidential election has not had any negative impacts on the vaccine process he said, adding, “The medical part of it just keeps going forward.”

Coronavirus cases have climbed to record levels in the United States in recent weeks.

“We are in a difficult situation and we’ve just got to keep pushing,” Fauci said.

Public health officials across the country are gearing up for what will be the biggest vaccination effort in U.S. history — a monumental undertaking that must distribute hundreds of millions of doses, prioritize who’s first in line and ensure that people who get the initial shot return for the necessary second one.

For the vaccination effort to get off the ground, state officials have been readying systems to track supplies and who has been vaccinated.

That information will be fed into a national network and will be critical in giving federal health officials an up-to-date picture of vaccinations around the country.

Providers such as pharmacies and doctors’ offices will also need to be able to look up records, so people do not have to return to the same place for their second shot. More than one vaccine could also become available, and doses cannot be mixed and matched.

To help people find doses in their area, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants to put information on a vaccine finder website, which will be updated each day with the latest inventory.

States are also working to expand the number of pharmacies, doctors’ offices and other providers that can administer COVID-19 vaccines, to ensure shots are conveniently available.

So far, states have received far less money than they say they need for vaccine distribution, and it’s unclear if any more federal help is coming.

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(c) 2020 the Boston Herald

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.