Fauci says the US may not have enough COVID-19 vaccines for everybody until June, later than planned

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical advisor. Graeme Jennings – Pool/Getty Images
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said COVID-19 vaccines would be widely available to everyone in the US by May or June.
  • Fauci said he had hoped for the end of April, but there were fewer vaccines available than expected.
  • It might take until the end of summer to actually roll out the vaccines to everybody, he said.
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The timeline for when COVID-19 vaccines will be available to everyone in the US has slipped into May or possibly June,Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday.

Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, told CNN that he was initially hoping the US would have enough vaccines for everybody by the end of April. But this was based on having “considerably more doses” of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine than what the US now has. The vaccine has not yet been authorised.

“So that timeline will probably be prolonged, maybe into mid-late May, early June,” Fauci said.

Fauci said this is when the process would start — it could take until the end of the summer to roll out COVID-19 vaccine to everyone, assuming no “glitches” in supply, he said.

More than 15 million Americans have been fully immunized against COVID-19 with two shots of either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccines, according to the Centres for Control and Disease Prevention (CDC), with more than 55.2 million doses administered in total.

People who are vulnerable to severe COVID-19, like older people, those with other medical conditions, and “essential” workers, have been prioritised, depending on the state.

The J&J vaccine is not yet available in the US, but the data from a late-stage clinical trial was submitted to the US regulator — the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) —on February 4, and an emergency green light could come by the end of the month.

J&J’s single-dose shot was 66% effective at preventing moderate and severe cases of COVID-19 in a global trial of more than 44,000 people.

J&J said at the time of submission to the FDA that the company expected to supply 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the US in the first half of 2021.