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Fauci says even after a coronavirus vaccine is available, masks and social distance still vital

Conditions won’t change overnight, said Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, listens during a Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to COVID-19 Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Washington. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP)
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, listens during a Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to COVID-19 Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Washington. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON – Dr. Anthony Fauci says Americans likely will need to wear masks and stay socially distant to protect themselves from the coronavirus after a vaccine becomes available.

Fauci tells senators at a hearing that a vaccine won’t change conditions overnight.

“The vaccine availability will go a giant step to controlling the infection, but you’re not going to completely eradicate it or eliminate it,” Fauci says.

It’s unusual for a vaccine to be 100% effective, he says. Also, some people are skeptical of vaccinations and may avoid getting a shot.

Even if there’s enough vaccine available for the entire U.S. population, it will take time to distribute the shots.