Many people are under the misconception that they’ll be able to get a vaccine in early 2021, “and then things will be back to normal,” Soumya Swaminathan said in a question-and-answer session broadcast on YouTube.

In reality, she said, any vaccine that is ready next year will be available in limited quantities, with health-care workers and others on the front lines having first priority, followed by “the elderly and so on.”

“There will be a lot of guidance coming out, but I think an average person, a healthy young person, might have to wait until 2022 to get a vaccine,” she predicted.

Although young people can get sick and die of covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and can spread the virus to others, some evidence suggests they are less likely to suffer serious complications than older people or those with health problems.