The developed world could start to emerge from the deadly grip of the pandemic by late spring if the first wave of COVID-19 vaccines are deployed effectively, scientists say. Even so, infection rates are likely to remain high for some time.
More than 1.1 million people have been vaccinated in the U.S., U.K., China and Russia, according to Bloomberg data, with the European Union expected to approve its first shot this coming week. As many as three vaccines could be available in the West by year-end, leaving governments and scientists hopeful the pandemic could start to turn a corner in the first half of 2021.
“The one big victory we had about this outbreak was the extraordinary performance of getting vaccines available in less than a year,” Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview.
While China has also deployed vaccines, it and other Asian nations have effectively parried the pandemic with measures such as mass testing, masks and social distancing.