5 things to know about Dr Anthony Fauci’s coronavirus vaccines

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The “CBS Evening News” spoke with Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday for the Milken Institute’s Future of Health Summit. Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, said the country would suffer “significant suffering and suffering over the next two months” before a vaccine had an impact on the spread of the disease. coronavirus.
The vaccines are called “the light at the end of the tunnel” by Fauci and other health experts. Here are our main takeaways from the interview:

1. If 75-85% of people in the United States get vaccinated, the coronavirus epidemic will be over before the end of 2021.

Fauci said the United States has the capacity to “crush” the epidemic before the end of 2021 by vaccinating three-quarters of Americans next year. In the meantime, he’s encouraging Americans to engage in public health measures like wearing a mask, avoiding crowds and keeping physical distance. Fauci says if the United States pulls together “as the vaccine is rolled out, we should be okay, but it won’t happen spontaneously.”

2. People who have already been infected with the coronavirus should get vaccinated.

One of the most common questions for viewers is whether or not those who have had COVID-19 in the past should get vaccinated. Fauci said yes: “Once you are infected with the virus, you don’t know how long this protection will last. [last] or whether or not you have fitted a good protection. ”

3. The coronavirus vaccine is unlikely to be similar to the annual influenza vaccine.

At this point, we’re used to getting the flu shot every year, but will we be required to get the coronavirus shot every year? Fauci said it’s still not clear exactly how often we’ll need a booster, but that it’s “not so sure it will be every year, but I’d be surprised if it gave immunity. for life. This means, “We will probably have to be boosted. What is the interval of these boosters, I don’t know at the moment, ”he said.

4. When career FDA scientists say the vaccine is safe, Fauci will recommend the vaccine to friends, family, and past presidents.

President-elect Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama said they would receive the vaccine when Fauci said it was safe. He said that when “the FDA and their career scientists say it’s safe and effective, I’ll take it myself when the time comes and recommend it to everyone… because I would feel comfortable doing it. take “. When we asked Fauci if he would agree to be vaccinated on TV, he replied, “I would be more than happy to do it publicly. ”

5. States and local authorities are responsible for the distribution of vaccines after transportation is completed by the federal government.

Fauci said he was “fairly confident” that the United States had the personnel and supplies to successfully implement the most ambitious vaccination project ever undertaken. While Operation Warp Speed ​​is responsible for the actual transport of the vaccine, states and local health authorities. “Every city, state, public health authority has their own plan for how they’re going to distribute it,” he says.

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