Dr Anthony Fauci and Alex Azar get Moderna Covid vaccine live on air

Dr Fauci gave an enthusiastic thumbs up after getting his Moderna vaccine on Tuesday along with HHS Secretary Alex Azar at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland and eight people who work there after giving the somber prediction that the vast majority of Americans won’t be vaccinated until July.

Before getting his vaccine, Fauci said it was an ‘honor’ and that the vaccine was a ‘symbol’ of hope for the country and the world. Azar told the audience that all Americans could trust the vaccine and that it was a ‘medical miracle’.  

Earlier in the day however, Fauci warned that it may take until July next year for most of the American public to be inoculated. 

He says that the vaccine won’t start being rolled out to the public at the end of March – later than what Azar has previously said – and that it could take four months after that for most of the public to receive shots in the arm. 

The US has agreed to buy 200million doses from Moderna and 100million from Pfizer but there are more than 330million in the country and everyone needs at least two shots.  

Pfizer has already said it will not be able to restock the US until June or July because other countries rushed ahead of them to place orders, despite it being an American company.

Fauci and Azar were vaccinated on Tuesday as a new mutant strain of COVID wreaked havoc on the UK and Europe and daily COVID deaths and cases across the US continued to rise.  

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Dr. Fauci receives the Moderna vaccine at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, on Tuesday morning

Dr Anthony Fauci gives a thumbs up after receiving the Moderna vaccine at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, on Tuesday 

During an appearance on Good Morning America, he sought to clarify the muddy timeline of exactly when Americans will get the shot after Joe Biden’s pick for Secretary General said it could take until the end of summer.  

Fauci said the vaccines will start going out to the public in the spring, at the end of March.  But he said it could take up to four months after that point for people to have actually received it in any meaningful number. 

No official, including those from Operation Warp Speed – the White House’s task force – has explained properly why it will take so long for Americans to get shots in the arm and many have given differing timelines. 

Azar previously said Americans would get the shot in late January and February. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo claims phase II – which applies to essential workers and high-risk members of the public – will start at the end of January in his state. 

Fauci said on Tuesday: ‘You’re going to get different versions from different people. The reason is the uncertainty about the efficiency of how you get it implemented.

‘In other words, when you say we’ve reached the point that it’s open season, anybody can get the vaccine, not just the people in the priority areas that we’re doing… we likely will be able to start vaccinating people in the broader category somewhere around the end of March, beginning of April.

‘How long it takes to get everyone who needs to be vaccinated vaccinated it really varies.

‘It depends on the efficiency of the process. 

‘What I’ve been saying, I think it’s correct but it could be a variant of a month or two, in earnest, I think we’ll start vaccinating the general public… it may take two, three or four months or more before you get everyone vaccinated. That’s the difference.

‘We’re really all saying the same thing – we’ll start at a certain time, it may take two, three or four months before everyone gets vaccinated who needs to be.

‘By the time we get into the summer, I hope we’ll almost be at that point.’

How the vaccine is distributed will be down to the states. 

Generally, they are following the CDC’s guidelines on who gets it first, with healthcare workers being among the first along with nursing home staff and residents. 

Then, the most vulnerable members of the public will get it, followed by the public at large. 

HHS Secretary Alex Azar receiving his Moderna vaccine on Tuesday morning 

Secretary Azar applauds after being given the vaccine on Tuesday. He spoke beforehand to tell all Americans they could trust the vaccine

Secretary Azar applauds after being given the vaccine on Tuesday. He spoke beforehand to tell all Americans they could trust the vaccine

NIH Director Francis Collins also received the vaccine on Tuesday morning

NIH Director Francis Collins also received the vaccine on Tuesday morning 

The doses have been divided up based on population size and are currently being distributed. 

It is then up to each state to mobilize the vaccination program in hospitals or healthcare sites. 

President Trump said earlier this month that WH staff, including him, would wait until the vaccine was more widely available to the public. He had the virus in October

President Trump said earlier this month that WH staff, including him, would wait until the vaccine was more widely available to the public. He had the virus in October 

Speaking before he got the shot in Bethesda, Fauci said: ‘What we’re seeing now is the culmination of years of research that has led to a phenomenon that is unprecedented. 

‘A virus that was described in January of this year to less than one year later, have vaccines going into people’s arms. 

‘I consider it an honor to be part of this process.’ 

Azar called the vaccine a ‘medical miracle’ and insisted that Americans could trust the vaccine and ‘any’ vaccine that the FDA approves. 

He added: ‘I am doing it because I want to symbolize the importance to people that everyone who can get vaccinated get vaccinated but also it’s a good feeling of accomplishment because this originated in laboratories in my institute.’ 

The virus continues to ravage America with more than 18million cases now recorded since March. Daily deaths and cases are at their highest now than since the start of the pandemic

The virus continues to ravage America with more than 18million cases now recorded since March. Daily deaths and cases are at their highest now than since the start of the pandemic

President-elect Joe Biden, 78, received the vaccine on Monday at Christina Hospital in Newark, Delaware

President-elect Joe Biden, 78, received the vaccine on Monday at Christina Hospital in Newark, Delaware 

Vice President Mike Pence received his vaccine last week. He said afterwards: 'I didn't feel a thing!'

Vice President Mike Pence received his vaccine last week. He said afterwards: ‘I didn’t feel a thing!’ 

The Moderna vaccine was the second to be approved by the FDA after Pfizer’s. 

AOC, 31, has been accused of jumping the line to get the vaccine

AOC, 31, has been accused of jumping the line to get the vaccine 

Earlier in the week, lawmakers including Alexandria Ocasio Cortez were slammed for seeming to cut the line to get their jab. 

President Trump has not yet had his vaccine. He said he would wait until the ‘appropriate time’ to do it. 

Vice President Pence has had it, as has President-elect Joe Biden.  

On Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would wait until it is rolled out to the general public because he also did not want to be seen to be going in front of anyone else. 

He said that while he was eager to get it on camera and was willing to, he did not want ‘the flip side’ of being accused of taking a vaccine from a frontline worker when they are hard to come by. 

When exactly the American public will be able to get the vaccine is not yet known. 

Fauci said on Tuesday that there should be enough supply for the majority of the country to get it in March but that rolling it out may delay it. 

He said it by early summer, people ‘should’ be able to get access to it, but others have said it may take as long as next fall. 

Fauci calls on federal government to mandate COVID tests on all UK flights but says ‘draconian’ travel ban is NOT necessary because new mutant strain of COVID is probably already here 

Dr Anthony Fauci on Tuesday morning said it was under 'active discussion' that testing on transatlantic flights be mandated

Dr Anthony Fauci on Tuesday morning said it was under ‘active discussion’ that testing on transatlantic flights be mandated 

Dr. Fauci on Tuesday called on the federal government to mandate COVID tests on all flights from the UK after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made a plea to airlines to introduce it and California’s Governor Gavin Newsom said he was considering it. 

The sudden panic over flights from the UK has been caused by a new strain of COVID-19 that experts fear is 70 percent more infectious than what has previously been seen. It was detected in the UK in September and has since been found in Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy and Gibraltar. 

While no cases in the US have been confirmed yet, Dr. Fauci echoed other scientists’ comments on Tuesday morning that it was most likely already here. 

On Monday, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo convinced British Airways, Delta and Virgin to start mandating that passengers must test negative for COVID before they can board flights to New York City. Delta and Virgin say they will also enforce it on flights to Atlanta. 

But there are dozens of other flights every day between the UK and the US which remain unchecked. 

BA operates daily flights from London to L.A.X. and next week they cost as little as £200. The airline also flies direct to Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Miami. 

Britain's infection rate, in yellow, has rebounded sharply since the end of a national lockdown at the start of December - a resurgence blamed on the new variant of Covid-19 which has left the UK isolated by a series of travel bans. The US infection rate is still higher than in Britain, with some scientists and politicians saying America should also stop flights from the UK

Britain’s infection rate, in yellow, has rebounded sharply since the end of a national lockdown at the start of December – a resurgence blamed on the new variant of Covid-19 which has left the UK isolated by a series of travel bans. The US infection rate is still higher than in Britain, with some scientists and politicians saying America should also stop flights from the UK 

Delta and Virgin also offer one-stop flights to Orlando but tests are not yet required on those flights yet. The airline says it will enforce testing on all US-bound flights eventually, but they haven’t said when it’ll go into effect on non NYC or Atlanta flights.

Cuomo on Monday said he would prefer that the US banned all flights from the UK temporarily but that in the absence of action from the federal government, it was the best he could do to try to stop the new strain from spreading. California Governor Newsom said afterwards that he too was considering a similar measure but that he wanted the federal government to take action too.  

WHAT THE AIRLINES ARE DOING

British Airways

Mandatory COVID-19 tests on all flights to NYC starting December 22.

No mandatory tests on all other flights. The airline also flies to LA, Dallas, Houston, Chicago and Miami

Delta and Virgin 

Mandatory tests on all flights to the US, starting with NYC and Atlanta from December 24. 

Travelers will be required to take a LAMP or PCR test up to 72 hours prior to departure adding another layer of safety when they travel. 

The airline also operates flights to Orlando and one-stop routes to other US cities 

They are telling people with flights booked to monitor their website for information.  

United Airlines

No mandatory COVID-19 tests on any flights. 

Twice daily flights from London to the US scheduled for 2021 

American Airlines 

Partner with BA. No mandatory tests on flights

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Dr Fauci, speaking on Good Morning America, said it was likely that testing on all transatlantic flights would become mandatory. 

‘You really need to assume it ‘s here already. It’s certainly not the dominant strain but I would not be surprised at all if it’s already here.  

‘Travel bans are really rather draconian. There is certain consideration throughout about the possibility and likelihood of requiring the testing of individuals before they board a plane to the United States. 

‘That is under active discussion. The governor of New York is already doing that. That’s a big difference between shutting off travel completely which is really a rather dramatic step. 

‘That’s not really in the cards right now but I wouldn’t be surprised if the requirement of testing is something that is being actively considered right now,’ he said.

Virgin, Delta and British Airways all said on Monday that they would start mandating tests on flights from the UK to New York City. They won’t do the tests themselves; passengers must obtain the test within 72 hours before they board the plane.

British Airways is insisting on the negative tests from Tuesday but only on planes from London to New York City. 

Delta and Virgin will impose their mandate starting on Christmas Eve and will also impose the rule on their flights from London to Atlanta. 

United – which operates two daily flights between Heathrow and Newark – said it wasn’t going to change its rules because the federal government hadn’t insisted on it yet.  

‘No additional changes are being made at this time but we will continue to monitor the situation,’ a spokesman told DailyMail.com. 

American Airlines has not indicated yet whether or not it plans to impose mandatory tests – the airline has not responded to multiple requests for information. 

Cuomo, on Monday night, pleaded with the federal government to adopt the same rules. 

‘We have an agreement now with the three airlines but the point is bigger than just New York. We have been worried about a mutation of the virus. That’s what everybody’s been worried about.

‘You have 120 countries that have required no one comes from the UK unless they test negative and the US has done nothing.  

A British Airways plane arriving at JFK on Monday, one of dozens that flew in throughout the day, while more than 40 other countries cut off British travel

A British Airways plane arriving at JFK on Monday, one of dozens that flew in throughout the day, while more than 40 other countries cut off British travel

Passengers arrive at JFK's Terminal 4 on Monday and make a break for the city without being tested for COVID. There were national guardsmen checks inside where people were asked to fill out their information

Passengers arrive at JFK’s Terminal 4 on Monday and make a break for the city without being tested for COVID. There were national guardsmen checks inside where people were asked to fill out their information 

‘I acted proactively for New York, I have the airlines that are flying into New York, but we’ve learned this lesson before. That’s what’s frustrating. 

‘The way we got COVID in the Spring. The federal government thought the virus was in China. 

‘Yes, the people who fly into New York will be negative but we’ll have flights into Chicago, we’ll have flights into other parts of the country… those people will get on flights. 

‘This whole notion that any one state can protect itself was foolish from the beginning,’ he told CNN.  

He added that scientists like Fauci are more cautious than he or other politicians, saying: ‘A scientist wants to see a flame before they tell you there’s a fire. I see smoke, I douse the spot in water.’    

Newsom said on Monday: ‘I hope the federal government takes action in this space. They should. 

‘We’ve seen Canada, we’ve seen so many other jurisdictions around the world that have. 

‘In the absence of that, we’ll be pursuing different strategies on testing and quarantine and those have been activated in terms of those conversations. 

‘As soon as I have more information, I’ll share that information with you.’ 

It begs the question of why this step wasn’t taken sooner and why the airlines aren’t imposing the tests on all of their flights around the world. 

In March and April, at the height of the pandemic in New York City, testing was difficult to come by which is likely the explanation.

Rapid tests, which are now the most commonly used but are not as accurate as the notorious swabs, were almost non-existent. 

Now, some are asking why mandatory rapid tests aren’t the rule on every flight.

Others say mandatory COVID testing on flights will do nothing because a) rapid tests are not as reliable as people may think they are and b) a person can easily catch COVID in between the time they take the test and when they board the flight. 

The border between Europe and America has been closed to non-citizens or exempted people since President Trump’s March 21 executive order.  

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