In a video recorded Thursday but released Friday by the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Dr. Anthony Fauci says a COVID-19 vaccine could be available as soon as next month.
"We could begin vaccinating people before the end of this calendar year," Fauci said, noting healthcare workers and other vulnerable people at risk could receive doses as early as mid-December.
He said there's no guarantee on the timeline, but he's cautiously optimistic that we'll have an answer by November or December.
However, Fauci says the social distancing guidelines will be in place into the third quarter of next year.
Fauci has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, and he is a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
There are six vaccines currently being tested; five are in phase three trials.
Fauci says two of those vaccines entered phase three in July, and could be ready to be used by the public in either November or December, and there is a slight chance they could be available this month.
Fauci says production needs to be stepped up and first responders and frontline workers and older Americans initially will get the vaccine.
He says people have to trust the vaccine and notes there is a large part of the population that is skeptical of vaccines.
Fauci says the vaccine will be safe.
Video: Officials battle who gets the final say so on a COVID-19 vaccine
Fauci was interviewed Thursday by Greater Baltimore Medical Center President Dr. John Chessare for a video to mark the medical center's 55th anniversary.
The video was recorded before President Donald Trump disclosed he had COVID-19.