STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Dr. Fauci shifts the timeline on when the general public will be able to get a vaccine

Vaccinating the world against Covid-19 could take years. Even with several successful vaccines on the market and many more in the pipeline, there simply aren't enough facilities around the world to make them. CNN's Anna Stewart takes a look at what's being done to boost vaccine production. 

Posted: Feb 16, 2021 7:00 PM
Updated: Feb 16, 2021 7:00 PM

Dr. Anthony Fauci said vaccines won't be available to the "general public" before mid- to late May or early June, he told CNN's Jim Sciutto on Tuesday.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, acknowledged that previous estimates had placed vaccine availability for the general public -- or nonessential workers under 65 with no health conditions -- closer to the end of April.

"If you start talking about when the vaccine would be more widely available to the general population, I was hoping that that would be by the end of April, namely, have gone through all the priorities and now say, OK anyone can get it," Fauci said. "That was predicated on J&J, the Johnson product, having considerably more doses than now we know they're going to have."

Johnson & Johnson will have fewer than 10 million vaccine doses available if the US Food and Drug Administration authorizes it for emergency use in the coming weeks, a federal health official told CNN earlier this month.

"So, that timeline will probably be prolonged, maybe into mid- to late May and early June, that's fine," Fauci said.

He downplayed the shifted expectations and noted that there will be several months between when vaccinations are generally available and when each person will individually be able to access one.

"You can say, let's say in May, vaccines are going to be widely available to almost anybody May, June, but it may take to June, July and August to finally get everyone vaccinated," he said. "So when you hear about how long it's going to take to get the overwhelming population vaccinated, I don't think anybody disagrees that that's going to be well to the end of the summer and we get in the early fall."

Fauci's comments come as the US on Monday reported more than 53,800 new Covid-19 infections: its lowest daily case count since October and a vastly different number from those plaguing the country just last month, when infections were topping 200,000 a day.

Statistics across the US are now reflecting more encouraging trends. California, one of the states hit hardest by the pandemic, reported its lowest daily case increase since early November.

That comes amid a steady decline not only in new infections but also in hospitalizations as well.

Why cases and hospitalizations are dropping

The sharp drop in cases is due to a combination of the end of the post-holiday surge, increased preventive measures like masks and distancing and the tens of millions of previously infected people who now have a level of natural immunity.

Vaccines, too, are increasingly going into arms and limiting the virus's ability to find new hosts. The US has administered more than 55 million vaccine doses so far and is averaging about 1.7 million doses administered every day, a number that has been steadily increasing.

"It's hard to know, but I do think that one possibility is you're starting to see the first evidence of herd immunity," said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden's administration is again increasing its weekly Covid-19 vaccine supply being sent to states, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Tuesday.

During a call with governors, White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zients informed the officials that the administration is "increasing the vaccine supply to 13.5 million doses per week to states," Psaki said at Tuesday's briefing, a 57% increase from inauguration levels.

Additionally, Psaki said, the administration will be "doubling the supply to our pharmacy program." This week, there will be 2 million doses sent to pharmacies across the country, she said, which is expected to expand in the coming weeks.

Even as the Covid-19 data is heading in the right direction, tens of thousands of people continue to become newly infected with the virus every day. And experts worry that if Americans let their guards down -- especially now with variants circulating -- there could be another surge coming.

"The only thing that I'm concerned about now, is that we do have this UK variant ... and it seems to be accelerating in the United States," Dr. Peter Hotez, dean for the National School for Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN on Monday.

CDC data shows more than 1,100 cases of the highly contagious B.1.1.7 variant -- first detected in the UK -- have been reported in the US. The agency has previously warned the strain will see rapid growth in early 2021 and will likely become the predominant variant by March.

"I think we should be assuming that the next wave of case growth, to the extent that we have it, is going to be with B.1.1.7, and that's something that I think everybody has to be even more cautious about," Andy Slavitt, White House Covid-19 senior adviser, said on MSNBC on Monday. "It's nice to see the numbers of cases drop, but it could be misleading."

Frigid weather causes vaccine delays

And while officials are working to get more Americans vaccinated, winter storms are now delaying the process in parts of the country.

In Texas, Dallas County officials announced they were closing the Fair Park vaccination site through Wednesday because of severe weather.

"We understand the urgency to administer second doses of the vaccine, but we must also balance people's safety," officials said in a news release. "As soon as we can safely open again, we will."

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said mass vaccination events planned through Friday were canceled due to severe weather that "makes driving dangerous and threatens the health and safety of anyone exposed to the cold."

In Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear said that while the weather "is going to slow down our vaccinations," he hopes the state will be able to make up for the delays next week.

The storms caused disruptions as states continue to grapple with other vaccine challenges, including short supply and distribution inequities.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said on Monday that while progress on vaccine hesitancy and equity among members of the Latino community was "encouraging," the state was still seeing a "substantial disparity in vaccine administration between Hispanic and non-Hispanic communities."

He added the state still needed more supply from the federal government to be able to meet the growing demand.

"When we get to that point when we can expand the supply and we have that supply, we need people to be comfortable taking the vaccine," the governor said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319704

Reported Deaths: 7369
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22276267
Hinds20677421
Harrison18407317
Rankin13880282
Jackson13689248
Madison10249224
Lee10056176
Jones8464167
Forrest7827153
Lauderdale7260242
Lowndes6509150
Lamar634888
Lafayette6310121
Washington5420137
Bolivar4837133
Panola4669110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4604147
Marshall4573105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425373
Union415777
Monroe4155135
Neshoba4061179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386687
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3369111
Alcorn325972
Scott320174
Yazoo314171
Adams307486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298189
Tippah291968
Prentiss283861
Leake271974
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George252051
Newton248663
Tishomingo231568
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Clay187854
Stone187833
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127138
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108033
Tunica108027
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69532
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548323

Reported Deaths: 11288
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809531565
Mobile42066826
Madison35663525
Tuscaloosa26162458
Shelby25595254
Montgomery25081612
Baldwin21839313
Lee16265176
Calhoun14718325
Morgan14626285
Etowah14171363
Marshall12449230
Houston10764288
Elmore10295213
Limestone10182157
St. Clair10160251
Cullman9941201
Lauderdale9596249
DeKalb8967189
Talladega8458184
Walker7335280
Autauga7230113
Blount6944139
Jackson6922113
Colbert6414140
Coffee5627127
Dale4929114
Russell454941
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4273122
Tallapoosa4136155
Escambia401780
Chambers3726124
Dallas3607156
Clarke352961
Marion3242106
Pike314078
Lawrence3129100
Winston283572
Bibb268464
Geneva257581
Marengo250665
Pickens236862
Barbour234659
Hale226878
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph187044
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155657
Cleburne153244
Lamar146537
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113430
Coosa111429
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93534
Choctaw62025
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 85°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 82°
Oxford
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 75°
Starkville
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 78°
We continue to monitor a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico. This will be in heavy rainfall two locations across the southeast over the course of the weekend, and flooding rainfall could be in tow as well. Things are looking better for Father’s Day itself, thankfully.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather