Alex Azar, flanked by Trump and Pence
Alex Azar, flanked by Trump and Pence REUTERS

Life will return to normal in the US in 2021, with all coronavirus restrictions likely to end, the US Secretary of Health and Human Services said.

Speaking in an interview with Axios, a portion of which was released Monday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said that coronavirus vaccines would be universally available to all Americans who want to get vaccinated by mid-2021, in line with previous estimates.

According to Azar, that will lead to the end of all coronavirus restrictions in the US in 2021 and a full return to “normalcy”.

“By the second quarter of next year,” Azar said when asked when coronavirus vaccines will be universally available.

“My expectation is that next year we return to normalcy in our lives thanks to the incredible work of Operation Warp Speed and these vaccines, as well as the therapeutics," Azar said.

The US Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve any of the coronavirus vaccines now being tested, though it is widely expected to grant emergency use approval in the coming weeks to vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna.

Once the vaccines are approved for use, they will be used in the initial stage primarily for people with high risk factors – either because of their age and underlying health issues, or because of their proximity to coronavirus patients.

Because the vaccines require two doses, it will require hundreds of millions of doses for a majority of Americans to be vaccinated.