Dr Anthony Fauci said on Friday that the chances for scientists to create a highly effective vaccine to fight COVID-19 are slim.
“The chances of it being 98% effective are not great,” Fauci said in a question-and-answer session with Brown University School of Public Health in Rhode Island.
Fauci said scientists expected a coronavirus vaccine to be at least 75 percent effective, but 50 percent or 60 percent would be acceptable.
“Which means that you should never abandon the public health approach,” explained the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“You have to look at the vaccine as a tool to make sure that the pandemic is no longer a pandemic, but something that is well controlled.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said it will allow a vaccine against the coronavirus as long as it is safe and at least 50% effective.
FDA Commissioner Dr Stephen Hahn said last month that the vaccine (s) that eventually get approved will prove to be over 50% effective.
He added that it is possible that the United States will end up with a vaccine that, on average, reduces a person’s risk of infection with COVID-19 by just 50%.
“We were really convinced that it had to be the floor,” Hahn said on July 30, adding that it “had been beaten between medical groups.”
“But for the most part, I think, infectious disease experts agreed that was a reasonable low, of course hoping that the actual effectiveness would be higher.”
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Meanwhile, a Gallup poll released on Friday found that one in three Americans would not take a vaccine if it were available today.
Conducted from July 20 to August 2, the poll asked 7,632 American adults, “If an FDA-approved vaccine to prevent coronavirus / COVID-19 was available now at no cost, would you agree to be vaccinated?”
Only 65% said they would, while 35% said they would not.