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Dec. 22, 2020, 11:31 a.m. EST

Fauci suggests all Americans who want to be vaccinated will have gotten shots by midsummer

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The nation’s top infectious-disease expert estimates that most Americans will have access to the new COVID-19 vaccines by midsummer.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told “Good Morning America” on Tuesday that he expects to start vaccinating the general population “somewhere in the end of March, the beginning of April.”

He said the process could take up to four months to reach all Americans who want to receive the vaccine — suggesting a date in early August at the latest.

The first doses started rolling out last week , with health-care workers, first responders and the elderly on the priority list. Fauci planned to receive his own shot of the vaccine created by Moderna /zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite MRNA -1.20% on Tuesday.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, led by Fauci, co-developed the mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate . Moderna had never before achieved an authorization or approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

The Moderna vaccine candidate, like that developed by Pfizer /zigman2/quotes/202877789/composite PFE +1.50% with German partner BioNTech /zigman2/quotes/214419716/composite BNTX -4.81% /zigman2/quotes/222361179/delayed XE:22UA -4.36% , is being administered in the U.S. under an emergency-use authorization.

Fauci also remarked upon the new COVID-19 strain discovered in the U.K. , saying it was “certainly possible” that it had reached America, as well. He said that travel bans were unnecessary and “rather draconian” but that pre-travel testing requirements for visitors from the U.K. might be preferable.

Fauci reiterated his longstanding plea for Americans to curb their normal Christmas and holiday plans this year as the virus continues to surge all around the country.

Key Words: Former congressman suggests adding $300 or $400 to stimulus checks — for people who get the COVID-19 vaccine

MarketWatch contributed.

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