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2021 preview: how soon will a Covid-19 vaccine normalize life?

By Michael le page
, Clare Wilson
, Donna Lu
, Graham Lawton
and Adam Vaughan

People enjoy the sun as they socially distance themselves in Melbourne, Australia in October 2020 after restrictions are relaxed

Darrian Traynor / Getty Images

If 2020 felt like hell, be warned that even if we’re moving in the right direction, we’re not out of the fire yet. Welcome to the year 2021, also known as Purgatory.

There is little doubt that vaccines are key to ending the pandemic. A recent model study predicted that vaccinating just 40 percent of adults in the United States would reduce the rate of coronavirus infections by around 75 percent and the number of hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 by more than … over the course of 2021.