The Moderna vaccine uses the same technology as Pfizer-BioNTech’s and showed similarly strong protection against COVID-19 but is easier to handle because it does not need to be kept in the deep freeze at minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit.
On Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the nation could achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus by “the end of the second quarter 2021,″ as vaccines are more widely deployed.
Depending on the “efficiency of the rollout,” Fauci said vaccines should be widely available to most Americans “sometime by the end of March, the beginning of April, that the normal healthy man and woman in the street who has no underlying conditions would likely get it.”
Fauci was ‘absolutely not’ surprised Trump got COVID-19
Fauci, who will continue as a central federal architect of the virus response in President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, said he believed most Americans who wanted the vaccine could probably get it by later March or early April.
Fauci hopes by late spring or early summer, the U.S. will attain “that umbrella of herd immunity.”
“By the time we get to the fall, we can start approaching some degree of relief where the level of infection will be so low in society we can start essentially approaching some form of normality,” he said.
How COVID-19 vaccines were developed so quickly
Following another initial set of deliveries Wednesday, officials with the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed said they will begin moving 580 more shipments through the weekend.
“We’re starting our drumbeat of continuous execution of vaccine as it is available,” Army Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer for Warp Speed, told reporters Monday. “We package, and we deliver. It is a constant flow of available vaccine.”
Perna and other U.S. officials reiterated their projection that 20 million Americans will be able to get their first shots by the end of December — and 30 million more in January.