WASHINGTON — The nation’s top infectious disease expert estimates that most Americans will have access to the new COVID-19 vaccines by mid-summer.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told Good Morning America on Tuesday that he expects to start vaccinating the general population “somewhere in the end of March, the beginning of April.”

He said the process could take up to four months to reach all Americans who want to receive the vaccine.

The first doses started rolling out last week, with health care workers, first responders and the elderly on the priority list. Fauci planned to receive his own shot of the vaccine created by Moderna on Tuesday.

Fauci also said it was “certainly possible” that the new COVID-19 strain discovered in the U.K. had reached America as well. He said travel bans were unnecessary and “rather draconian,” but that pre-travel testing requirements for visitors from the U.K. might be preferable.

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Fauci reiterated his longstanding plea for Americans to curb their normal Christmas and holiday plans this year as the virus continues to surge all around the country.

Fauci and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar publicly received Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine Tuesday.

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