Anthony Fauci said Thursday the global coronavirus outbreak will not be a pandemic for “a lot longer” because of the development of vaccines, striking a hopeful note even as the situation worsens in the short term.
“Certainly it’s not going to be pandemic for a lot longer because I believe the vaccines are going to turn that around,” Fauci said at an event hosted by the think tank Chatham House.
Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said that while the virus will likely cease raging across the globe as it is now, it could circulate quietly below the surface, at least in certain areas.
“Putting it to rest doesn’t mean eradicating it,” he said. “I doubt we’re going to eradicate this, I think we need to plan that this is something we may need to maintain control over chronically, it may be something that becomes endemic that we have to just be careful about.”
Still, Fauci clearly thinks that vaccines will be a major boost in the fight against the virus. Pfizer reported this week that an interim analysis shows its vaccine was more than 90 percent effective, higher than expectations. Moderna said trial results for its own vaccine candidate may be available by the end of the month.