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Fauci: U.S. could begin distributing COVID vaccine by end of year

FILE PHOTO: Anthony Fauci, MD, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, testifies during a U.S. Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing to examine COVID-19, focusing on an update on the federal response at the U.S. Capitol Washington, D.C., U.S., September 23, 2020. Graeme Jennings/Pool via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on Monday greeted news about the vaccine against the deadly coronavirus that Pfizer Inc PFE.N is developing as "a big deal" and said the United States could have vaccine doses ready to administer to people before the end of the year.

In an interview with CNN, Fauci said he believes he will stay in his current role for the time being and he has no intention of leaving. President Donald Trump, who is attempting to contest his apparent loss in last week’s presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden in the courts, has publicly criticized Fauci and has not spoken to the country’s leader on fighting infectious diseases since early October, according to Fauci.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Leslie Adler