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Nation could return to ‘some form of normality’ by the fall, Fauci says

Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Dr. Anthony Fauci.Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Tuesday that the United States could return to “some form of normality” by the fall.

“If we can get 70 to 85 percent of the population of this country vaccinated, fully vaccinated, and we do it expeditiously over a period of several months, then we will have an umbrella, or a cloak or what have you, of herd immunity, that would really, completely turn around the dynamics of the outbreak,” Fauci said in an interview with Harvard Business Review that was livestreamed as part of the HBR Now series.

“I believe that we can attain that, if we do it well, by early to mid-fall,” he said.

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He said President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to get 100 million people vaccinated in the first 100 days of his administration is “entirely feasible.” That would be followed by an “open season” in which anyone who wants to get vaccinated can get vaccinated, he said.

“And if we do that, efficiently, from April, May, June, July, August, by the time we get to the beginning of the fall, we should have that degree of protection that I think can get us back to some form of normality,” he said.

He also said that as the vaccines are administered to millions there would be a gradual impact on the pandemic.

“That doesn’t mean between the spring and the summer and the fall, that we’re going to be completely shut down. I think there will be an impact on the dynamics of the outbreak gradually until we reach that level of herd immunity,” he said.

Biden, who will be sworn in Wednesday, has appointed Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to become his chief medical adviser and part of his coronavirus response team.

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Martin Finucane can be reached at martin.finucane@globe.com.