On Boston Public Radio Wednesday, national security expert Juliette Kayyem offered a clear-eyed view of the U.S.' timeline out of the coronavirus pandemic, with three COVID-19 vaccines on track for distribution in 2021.

"We have every reason to be happy,” she said. “There is a light that is getting brighter and brighter.”

The CNN analyst said that the general population of Americans — those who aren’t seniors, health care or factory workers — should expect to get their first vaccine dosages “probably in April or May.” She called the process a “rolling recovery,” with most states prioritizing vaccinations for people in greatest need.

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General herd immunity, she said, is more likely to come by August or September of 2021. But she also stressed that things “will be much better before then."

“I just want people to know that it’s great news,” she emphasized. “You are looking, at best, nine to 10 more months."

Juliette Kayyem is an analyst for CNN, former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, and faculty chair of the homeland security program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.