Fauci predicts 'safe and effective' coronavirus vaccine by end of year

Dr. Anthony Fauci predicts that a coronavirus vaccine will be developed by the end of 2020.

"I believe that by the time we get to the end of this calendar year that we will feel comfortable that we do have a safe and effective vaccine," Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on NBC's "TODAY" on Wednesday.

He added that in a number of vaccine trials, there is "enough data that you would really feel comfortable it was safe and effective for the American public."

Fauci also warned about the upcoming flu season compounding the coronavirus pandemic. To help avoid that, he said the U.S. should focus hard now on reducing the spread of the virus.

“What I'd really like to see is a full court press to get us way down as a baseline, so that when you get these cases in the fall, they won't surge up,” he said.

In that vein, Fauci said people should be cautious over the coming Labor Day weekend.

"We have seen after Fourth of July, we saw after Memorial Day, a surge in cases. Wear a mask. Keep social distancing. Avoid crowds," he advised. "You can avoid those kind of surges. You don't want to be someone who's propagating the outbreak. You want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem."

Addressing coronavirus outbreaks at several universities after students returned to campus, Fauci urged school officials not to send people who test positive home.

"Keep them at the university in a place that's sequestered enough from the other students. But don't have them go home because they could be spreading it in their home state," Fauci said.