As coronavirus vaccines approach FDA approval, the US’s leading infectious disease expert has called on the public to double public health measures.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, in a discussion The Hastings Center said the vaccines were designed to protect the individual from coronavirus disease, but may not prevent the person from spreading the virus to others.
Fauci, when discussing the results of Pfizer and Moderna in clinical trials, explained that vaccines are evaluated to see if they prevent clinical disease in the individual and also to see if they prevent severe disease in a person who has been inoculated. However, it is not yet clear what impact vaccines can have on transmission.
“We have the same problem with the flu,” Fauci said, noting that the two coronavirus vaccines are much more effective than the seasonal flu vaccine.
“The problem is that you will not be completely protected against a certain degree of infection that you may not notice spreading to others,” he said. “This is why we have been saying in the media over the last few weeks that vaccination with highly effective vaccines does not mean that we will completely abandon public health measures,” he added.
It is not yet clear what impact vaccines can have on transmission
— The Hastings Center (@hastingscenter) November 19, 2020
A great debate about wearing a mask and whether it is beneficial to the wearer or useful to stop the spread has divided everyone, especially as states re-enter the lockdown.
Fauci said public health measures, which include social distancing, avoiding large gatherings and frequent hand washing, should be routine until the level of the virus spread in the community becomes very low, so that the risk of infection is no longer high. a threat.
Communication, especially as issues become politically polarized, has been particularly difficult, Fauci said, adding that part of the challenge when implementing a public health policy is that it must be an effort “of all parties involved.”
“What we need to do, in a very clear and easy to understand way, is to explain and try to do this as often as I can: the speed of development of the vaccine itself is a reflection of scientific progress,” he said. . “In other words, the technology of making a vaccine is the technology of the 21st century,” Fauci added.
Dr. Fauci also noted that federal funding and billions of dollars invested in the development and pre-manufacturing orders for Covid vaccines have helped accelerate vaccine production by months, if not years.