Anthony Fauci, the nation’s highest-ranking infectious-disease expert, struck a hopeful tone about vaccine availability in the coming months, predicting Thursday that there could be an “open season” on doses by April.
"As we get into March and April, the number of available doses will allow for much more of a mass vaccination approach, which is really much more accelerated than what you're seeing now," he said Thursday on NBC's "Today Show."
"By the time we get to April, that will be what I would call, for better wording, 'open season,' namely virtually everybody and anybody in any category could start to get vaccinated," he said.
The remarks echoed his sentiment from days earlier that he expects the pace of vaccinations to improve in the months ahead. He pointed to pharmacies, community vaccine centers and mobile vaccine units as locations where the pace of vaccinations will accelerate.
From there, he said, it could take "several more months" logistically to continue getting shots in arms. He predicted that by the 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."
The remarks from the president's chief medical adviser reiterate his sentiment from days earlier, when he said he expects the pace of vaccinations to improve in the coming months.
His timeline also echoes what other experts have recently predicted.
Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said this week that he expects vaccine appointment availability to soon expand.
“I think we’re going to run out of demand sooner than we think. I suspect that in some point in March and certainly by the end of March, we’re going to have to make this generally available,” Gottlieb said Monday on CNBC. “That doesn’t mean everyone can go and get a vaccine on April 1, but I think everyone is going to be able to go online and get an appointment sooner than we think.”