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Majority of Americans could be vaccinated by the middle or end of summer, says Fauci

February 11, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 23.5%. 2 min read.

Educational staff at Kettering City Schools receive the Covid-19 vaccine as a part of Ohios Phase 1B vaccine distribution in Dayton, Ohio, on February 10, 2021. (Photo by MEGAN JELINGER / AFP) (Photo by MEGAN JELINGER/AFP via Getty Images)

The top US infectious diseases expert said Thursday that “open season” for Covid-19 vaccination could begin in April, and that the country may be able to vaccinate the majority of Americans by the middle or end of summer.

The top US infectious diseases expert said Thursday that “open season” for Covid-19 vaccination could begin in April, and that the country may be able to vaccinate the majority of Americans by the middle or end of summer.

“Hopefully, as we get into the middle and end of the summer, we could have accomplished the goal of what we’re talking about, namely the overwhelming majority of people in this country having gotten vaccinated,” he said.

The UK coronavirus variant could "impact the epidemic curve" and lead to "a more restrictive approach to the public health and social measures" in Europe, if it becomes the continent’s dominant strain, the World Health Organization’s senior emergency officer for Europe warned on Thursday.

Speaking at a WHO Europe press briefing, Catherine Smallwood said that the B. 1. 1. 7 variant, commonly referred to as the "UK strain" or "Kent strain," is now circulating in over half of all European countries.

Responding to a question about the timeframe for the newly developed vaccines against new coronavirus variants, Mene Pangalos, AstraZeneca's executive vice president of biopharmaceuticals research and development, reiterated that they expect these to be ready in time for next autumn or winter.

The World Health Organization on Wednesday recommended the use of the current Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in countries where variants of the coronavirus are circulating.

As of Monday, at least 26 states and Washington DC said they would allow some or all teachers and school staff to get a Covid-19 vaccine.

With coronavirus variants posing a serious threat to US President Joe Biden's efforts to contain the pandemic, a Biden official has told CNN that the administration is still simply "not where we want to be" on surveillance of mutations in the US -- and simultaneously worried that Americans will grow increasingly complacent about the virus.

In the US, scientists fear that variants first identified in the UK, South Africa and Brazil may be either more contagious, more likely to cause reinfection, or somewhat resistant to existing Covid-19 vaccines.

An additional concern for the administration that goes hand-in-hand with the spread of variants, the administration official said, is coronavirus fatigue -- and convincing Americans to continue practicing responsible public health behavior like mask-wearing and social distancing a year into the pandemic.

In a White House briefing Wednesday, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the variant first spotted in the UK is now responsible for an estimated 1 to 4% of cases in the country.

Germany is “now dealing with three aggressive mutations” Merkel said Thursday, adding that the country needs to “prepare for new variants to become dominant” and that “mutations could destroy the vaccine's success. ” 

by summa-bot

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