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media captionMoncef Slaoui told CBS News that Americans could take comfort in vaccine news but still needed to follow Covid-19 guidance

The scientist in charge of the US push for a Covid-19 vaccine says there is "light at the end of the tunnel".

Moncef Slaoui said he hoped the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could give the go-ahead to a vaccine when it meets this week.

But for life to get back to normal by the spring, Americans still needed to follow safety measures, he added.

The US has seen record infections in recent days, with a daily death toll of more than 2,000.

The latest surge in cases is putting strain on hospitals, with large parts of the state of California set to enter new lockdown restrictions on Sunday.

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States are also preparing to distribute a vaccine, with possible approval approaching. The FDA is meeting to discuss the UK-approved vaccine, made by Pfizer, on Thursday and will discuss approval of a second vaccine, made by Moderna, on 17 December.

"It's a very important and deep process that the FDA is taking," Dr Slaoui told CBS News on Sunday.

Dr Slaoui heads up Operation Warp Speed, the US government's programme to rapidly produce and delivery Covid-19 vaccines.

"Based on the data that I know, I expect the FDA to make a positive decision. But of course, it's their decision," he said.

"The first vaccine shipment will happen on the day after the vaccine is approved."

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The UK will begin its largest-ever vaccine rollout on Tuesday, after approving the Pfizer vaccine last week.