Dr. Anthony Fauci says he would “settle” for a Covid-19 vaccine that’s 70% to 75% effective, but that this incomplete protection, coupled with the fact that many Americans say they won’t get a coronavirus vaccine, makes it “unlikely” that the US will achieve sufficient levels of immunity to quell the outbreak.
With government support, three coronavirus vaccines are expected to be studied in large-scale clinical trials in the next three months.
“The best we’ve ever done is measles, which is 97 to 98 percent effective,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “That would be wonderful if we get there. I don’t think we will. I would settle for [a] 70, 75% effective vaccine.”
A CNN poll last month found one-third of Americans said they would not try to get vaccinated against Covid, even if the vaccine is widely available and low cost.
In an interview Friday, CNN asked Fauci whether a vaccine with 70% to 75% efficacy taken by only two-thirds of the population would provide herd immunity to the coronavirus.
“No — unlikely,” he answered.
Herd immunity is when a sufficient proportion of a population is immune to an infectious disease, either through prior illness or vaccination, so that spread from person to person is unlikely.
Fauci noted that “there is a general anti-science, anti-authority, anti-vaccine feeling among some people in this country — an alarmingly large percentage of people, relatively speaking.”
He said given the power of the anti-vaccine movement, “we have a lot of work to do” to educate people on the truth about vaccines.