Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told Newsmax Monday he doesn't generally take his cues from the CEOs of pharmaceutical companies, but he does agree with the officials from Pfizer and Moderna, the two main vaccine makers, that the coronavirus pandemic could be coming to an end next year.
However, Jha stressed to Newsmax's "Wake Up America," getting shots into arms is key to making that happen.
"I think things are going to be way better next year," Jha said. "I'm hoping [for] earlier in the year rather than later in the year. I think by springtime; that's what I've been predicting and I think what many of the public health folks have been predicting ... when I look at the data, that's what I see as well."
Sunday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told ABC News' "This Week" that he thinks normal life could return "within a year," but still, annual vaccinations will be necessary to keep COVID-19 at bay.
"We don't know," said Bourla. "We need to wait and see the data."
Meanwhile, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told the Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung last week that his estimate for returning to a normal life would be "as of today, in a year, I assume," according to Reuters.
Bourla also on Sunday commented that determining whether to give booster shots should be a matter of whether the shots are needed, not based on supply, and said the United States has enough doses to provide both boosters and to allow full doses of vaccines for those who have not gotten their shots.
"I think what he was trying to say, which is a point I agree with, is that we shouldn't have the booster discussion as though we don't have enough vaccines in America right now, and so we have to choose between people getting first doses versus third doses," said Jha on Newsmax. "We can do both, and that is clearly true. America has lots and lots of vaccine doses of Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson."
Meanwhile, Pfizer is submitting its full set of data on vaccinations for children ages 5-11 to the Food and Drug Administration this week, and Jha said he hopes the shots will be approved and made quickly available.
"I'm hoping still that by Halloween, we'll have the first shots going into kids 5 to 11," said Jha. "I have a nine-year-old and that's what I'm hoping it will happen for him, but we've got to always look at the full set of data. Of course, especially with children."
The doctor also said he agrees with plans to ensure that low and middle-income nations have access to COVID vaccines.
"This is a global pandemic," said Jha. "There's only one path out, which is we've got to get more Americans vaccinated. We have got to get the world vaccinated, and that means we have a lot of excess vaccines getting into the world is a really, really good idea, better that than sitting on our shelves."
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