With the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine now having received full approval from the FDA, the hope among health experts is that many of those who have thus far refused to get vaccinated will finally see the light. In fact, as Dr. Anthony Fauci explained on Monday, COVID-19 could be under much better control by the first half of next year if an overwhelming majority of Americans ultimately get vaccinated.

While several regions of the U.S. have fared quite well in recent months thanks to strong vaccination rates, other areas of the country have remained high-risk, with some even hitting falling further behind.

Asked Monday night during an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN about his recent comments on the current expectations for the pandemic moving forward, Fauci clarified that next spring could be where we start to see a more uniform turnaround.

“I meant to say the spring of 2022. … If we can get through this winter and get, really, the overwhelming majority of the 90 million people who have not been vaccinated vaccinated, I hope we can start to get some good control in the spring of 2022,” he said.

Asked what this type of control would look like, Fauci reiterated that a “degree of blanket protection” coming into focus in the early part of next year will require better vaccination numbers. 

“There’s no guarantee because it’s up to us,” Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical advisor, said. “If we keep lingering without getting those people vaccinated that should be vaccinated, this thing could linger on, leading to the development of another variant that complicates things. So it’s within our power to get this under control.”

Elsewhere, Fauci expressed support for vaccine mandates at businesses and other institutions. He also went deep on the FDA’s recent decision, showing optimism for how that move could positively impact pandemic numbers in undervaccinated regions. 

“While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. said in a press release on Monday when announcing the Pfizer decision.

On that note, this is me once again urging you to please get vaccinated