Washington – Dr Anthony Fauci, a leading national infectious disease expert, warned Sunday that it is “unlikely” that the United States will achieve coronavirus immunity if a portion of the population refuses to obtain a coronavirus vaccine.
In an interview that aired Sunday as part of the Aspen Ideas Festival, Fauci said he would “settle” for a coronavirus vaccine that is between 70% and 75% effective, “because that would bring you at that level which would be the immunity level of the flock “.
But when asked by CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen if the United States can obtain immunity if 25% of the population refuses to obtain a coronavirus vaccine with that efficacy rate, Fauci said: “No, unlikely “.
“This is one of the reasons why we need to make sure that we are engaging the community as we are doing now, to make people in the community help us, so that people understand that we are doing everything we can to prove that it is safe and that it is effective and which is for the sake of them as individuals and in society to take the vaccine, “said Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases.
Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said the federal government has “a lot of work to do”
“There is a general anti-science, anti-authority, anti-vaccine sentiment among some people in this country, an alarming percentage of people relatively speaking,” he said.
Fauci said that a vaccine is unlikely to be 100% protective against coronavirus and noted that the best available vaccine, which protects against measles, is 97% effective with two doses.
Several companies are currently working on developing a coronavirus vaccine and the Trump administration launched Operation Warp Speed earlier this year to accelerate development and distribution.
In May, the Department of Health and Human Services said it has partnered with drug manufacturer AstraZeneca for at least 300 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and is throwing $ 1.2 billion behind this. effort.
Earlier this month, FauciThe Journal of the American Medical Association has four or five tests underway for vaccine candidates and expects the United States to have millions of doses of a vaccine later this year.
Sunday reiterated that several companies claim that hundreds of millions of doses will be available in early 2021 and until next year.
“If that’s true and we will take them on their word, then you and I and others may have a vaccine that we may be able to take in December, January or February,” said Fauci.