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When Will the Pandemic End?

"We may not for months and months and months into 2021—or even beyond," says Dr. Fauci.

If you've been watching the news, you may be asking yourself, when will the pandemic end—and know that most experts point to a vaccine as the only way to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Scientists are working hard to develop, test, and eventually distribute a vaccine but there's still no set release date just yet. 

So, what's taking so long, and when will the pandemic end? "We don't know yet what system will be used to create a COVID vaccine or what vaccine candidates will be safe and not cause side effects. We don't know what will cause the right level of immunity. We are starting from scratch and have a lot to learn," says Dr. Tom Inglesby, MD from Johns-Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

When Will the Pandemic End?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) want to make sure the vaccine that's distributed to the general public is safe and effective well before it's released. 

"Many COVID-19 vaccine candidates are in development, and clinical trials are being conducted simultaneously with large-scale manufacturing. It is not known which vaccines will be authorized or approved," the CDC states. 

Several government agencies, including the CDC, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense (DoD), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have partnered together to develop, manufacture, and distribute a vaccine as quickly as possible. 

This partnership, called Operation Warp Speed, received almost $10 billion in funding from Congress for research related to a COVID-19 vaccine. "Operation Warp Speed's goal is to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial doses available by January 2021."

Not only is the group focused on developing a vaccine, these experts are already tackling the challenge of how to efficiently distribute doses to the world's population once it's ready. 

And while we all wait with bated breath, it's important to be patient and know it'll just take time, testing, and trial-and-error before the right vaccine is developed.

While this pandemic seems like it's dragging on forever, rest assured there are many companies, scientists, experts, and government agencies working hard to help restore some sense of normalcy and to protect those who are at high risk for severe illness related to coronavirus. 

You may be sick of hand sanitizer and Zoom meetings, but COVID-19 is still making people sick every day. Help stop the spread of coronavirus by practicing social distancing, washing your hands frequently, and following other federal and local health guidelines. 

Dr. Fauci Predicts When Things Will Return to Normal

While the majority of the world anxiously awaits a return to the life we were all so accustomed to, it might be a while before things resemble that sort of normal, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci. Ultimately, he doesn't predict that things have any semblance of normal until the end of 2021 or well into 2022. 

"We may not for months and months and months into 2021—or even beyond—we may not be able to in every section of the country have uninhibited theaters that are just completely packed sports events, where the spectators are crowded all over each other," he continued. "We may not get there for a while, depending upon the factors that I mentioned, vaccine uptake and our ability to implement some form of public health measures." So make sure you use precautions, and also don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Kelly Hernandez
Kelly Hernandez is a health and wellness writer and certified personal trainer. Read more about Kelly
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