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Dr. Fauci sticks with projection of COVID-19 vaccine in 2021

The White House adviser says people should remain vigilant about wearing masks, keeping physical distance and avoiding crowds to help prevent future surges.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Dr. Anthony Fauci says he’s sticking with his projection that a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine may be ready in early 2021. He says it’s possible it could be sooner, but “unlikely.”

The White House adviser on the coronavirus told “CBS This Morning “the more likely scenario is that we will know by the end of this calendar year and hopefully we’ll be able to start vaccinations in earnest as we begin early 2021.”

Fauci says it’s routine for late-stage vaccine studies to be put on hold because of side effects. A study by AstraZeneca of a potential coronavirus vaccine was recently paused for safety reasons after an illness from a shot in a recipient in Britain.

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He says it’s “really one of the safety valves that you have on clinical trials such as this.”

Fauci adds people should remain vigilant about wearing masks, keeping physical distance and avoiding crowds to help prevent future surges.

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For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

The United States has more than 6.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University.

Just after 10:45 a.m. EDT Wednesday, the U.S. had nearly 190,000 deaths from the virus. Worldwide, there are more than 27 million confirmed cases with nearly 900,000 deaths.

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