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Dr Anthony Fauci, is the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

A leading infectious disease expert in the United States has predicted the world will be free from the grips of Covid-19 within “the next year to a year and a half”.

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said vaccine development plans are in a “pretty good place”, while speaking during a live-stream event hosted by Georgetown University.

“No vaccine is going to be 100 per cent protective,” he said.

“What we hope is that – with the combination of people having already been exposed and a vaccine that’s anywhere from 70-75 per cent protective – that there will be enough herd immunity that there will be a time when you and I don’t have to worry about getting infected with this awful virus.

“We hope that that time will be reasonably soon … within the next year to year and a half.”

The end of July will see a huge 30,000-person study begin, to determine if the vaccine can prevent infection.

“If things work out the way we hope they do, I think by the end of this year and the beginning of calendar year 2021, we will have enough information to know whether the candidates that we’re dealing with are safe and effective,” Dr Fauci said.

New record cases in Florida.

Yesterday Florida set a record with more than 15,000 new cases of COVID-19 reported overnight.

Speaking on Speaking on Podcast-19, Dr Fauci said young people in particular “threw caution to the wind, and you see films of people very densely congregated at bars and in areas where they’re not looking at social distancing or wearing masks”.

“I think what we’re seeing right now are the results of that, in four states that are accounting for 50 per cent of new infections.”

So-called “pandemic parties” have also been raging across the state, according to local newspaper The Sun Sentinel.