Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is out in the world there’s one major concern for Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In an interview with The Daily Beast, he said that his biggest fear is that not enough people will get the vaccine.
Last week, the FDA gave emergency authorization for vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, allowing for doses to begin distribution across the U.S. Both vaccines are effective in preventing the development of COVID-19 infections with noticeable symptoms, hopefully reducing the amount of hospitalizations and the amount of deaths.
“If we can get a very high percentage of the United States population vaccinated with what is clearly a group of highly efficacious vaccines, we could have a major positive impact in turning around the dynamics of this outbreak,” said Dr. Fauci.
In a previous statement, Dr. Fauci said that we’d need at least 75% of the population to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in order to get herd immunity, which would reduce the spread in all communities and protect everyone, even those who haven’t received the vaccine. Still, it’s not known to what degree the vaccine can reduce the spread of the virus or how long this immunity is meant to last.
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COVID-19 has been a heavily politicized topic, with people decrying the use of masks, safety measures and the closure of businesses. Now that the vaccine is available, there’s a large number of people who don’t trust science, who could choose not to get vaccinated due to fears of potential side effects or mistrust of the virus.
The speed in which the vaccine was developed has also caused some people to be wary of it. “The speed is related to the extraordinary scientific advances in platform technology from vaccines that allowed us to do things in months that would have formerly taken several years,” explained Dr. Fauci.
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So if you have any doubts on whether or not to take the vaccine, try talking it out with a nurse or a doctor. While vaccinations are still not available to the majority of people, it seems like they are the straightest way back to normalcy.