Dr. Fauci slightly pushes back timeline for widespread COVID-19 vaccine availability

"That was predicated on J&J, the Johnson product, having a considerably more doses than now we know they're going to have," says Fauci.

News 12 Staff

Feb 17, 2021, 3:14 AM

Updated 1,247 days ago

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Many people will likely have to wait a bit longer than expected to get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Fauci said Tuesday that vaccines likely won't be available to the general public before mid- to late-May or early June. That's a slight pushback from his original timeframe of March or April.
He says one of the reasons is the vaccine itself.
"That was predicated on J&J, the Johnson product, having a considerably more doses than now we know they're going to have," says Fauci.
But in a statement released to News 12, a spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson says its expectations have not changed, saying, "Johnson & Johnson intends to distribute vaccine to the U.S. government immediately following authorization, and expects to supply 100 million doses to the U.S. in the first half of 2021. The company expects to have product available to ship immediately following authorization."
According to the FDA, a public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 26 to review the company's request for emergency use authorization.
Southampton-based Dr. Peter Michalos doesn't think the wait will be as long as Fauci suggests it might be.
"I think that what they're, what he's trying to do, is make it sound like 'Oh, it might be after the summer,' and then magically when it gets approved on Feb. 27, 'Oh look, now look how great we are, we've got a 100 million vaccines ready to give out,'" says Michalos.
Fauci downplayed it and said "the apparent conflict in statements is not really a conflict," adding that there will be several months between when vaccinations are generally available and when each person will individually be able to access one.


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