US Surgeon General nominee Dr. Vivek Murthy on Sunday said he predicts that every American will have access to a COVID-19 vaccine by early fall.
“If everything goes well, then we may see a circumstance where by late spring people who are in lower-risk categories can get this vaccine,” Murthy said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”
“More realistic that it may be closer to mid-summer or early fall when this vaccine makes its way to the general population.”
The former surgeon general, who has been nominated by President-elect Joe Biden to return to that position again, acknowledged that his projections may be erring on the side of caution.
“We want to be optimistic, but we want to be cautious as well,” Murthy said.
Admiral Brett Giroir, who is on the White House COVID-19 task force, offered a more optimistic timeline for the full scope of the vaccine rollout.
“We are very confident that by June anyone in America who wants to have a vaccine will have an opportunity to have a vaccine,” Giroir told ABC News’ “This Week.”
He noted there could be a third vaccine available shortly if Johnson & Johnson’s candidate reports positive results from its trials and then is granted emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.
“We don’t know the results. But we’re very hopeful, by January, we’ll have at least three vaccines, with — with more to come,” he said.