White House infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted on Thursday that the COVID-19’s days are numbered, thanks to the coronavirus vaccine candidates proven safe and effective so far. The coronavirus advisor warned, however, that COVID-19 might be here to stay.

Dr. Fauci said at a virtual health conference yesterday that COVID-19 might not be a pandemic for a lot longer but said a potent coronavirus vaccine might not be enough to eradicate the disease. He warned that people should not be complacent following a breakthrough in the race to deliver a safe and effective vaccine.

“The cavalry is coming but don’t put your weapons down, you better keep fighting because they are not here yet,” he said. “Help is on the way, but it isn’t here yet. So to me, that is more of an incentive of, ‘Please don’t give up, don’t despair, the end is in sight,’ as opposed to: ‘Hey, we are good to go, don’t worry about anything,’” he added.

Earlier this week, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that the early results of the Phase 3 trials of their coronavirus vaccine candidate showed the shot was 90 percent effective in preventing coronavirus infections. The development raised expectations that a COVID-19 vaccine could be delivered before the end of the year and bring an end to the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Fauci said, however, that people should still double down on public health measures as any coronavirus vaccine could not assure the total eradication of COVID-19. In fact, he said he doubts a vaccine could eradicate the disease.

“I think we need to plan that this is something we may need to maintain control over chronically,” he said. “It may be something that becomes endemic that we have to just be careful about,” he added.

Dr. David Heymann, who led the World Health Organization’s infectious disease unit during the SARS pandemic of 2002, also said COVID-19 could still exist even with vaccines. “Political leaders have political ambitions and the public health leaders and the technical leaders have ambitions on stopping the outbreak, and the two of those have to be reconciled in some way,” he said. “The public doesn’t understand all about vaccines, including that this disease may, even with vaccines, become endemic,” he added.

Coronavirus COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Donald Trump Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, in the press briefing room of the White House on March 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the United States, with New York's case count doubling every three days according to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Drew Angerer/Getty Images