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Fauci sticks with projection of vaccine in 2021 while Trump aims for October

Coronavirus

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 05: U.S. President Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, hold a press briefing with members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force on April 5, 2020 in Washington, DC. On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a recommendation that all Americans should wear masks or cloth face coverings in public settings. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.

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.

The United States leads the world in coronavirus cases with 6.3 million and nearly 190,000 deaths.

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