US top infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci said that the United States may not attain herd immunity if too many people refuse to take COVID-19 vaccine at the expected rate of efficacy. In an interview to CNN, Dr Fauci said it is unlikely that vaccine with 70-75 per cent efficacy will be enough to reach herd immunity if only two-thirds of the population would take it.
The 79-year-old immunologist raised concern over the “anti-science, anti-authority, anti-vaccine” feeling among an alarmingly large number of people in the United States. Dr Faunci admitted that the government has a lot of work to do to reach out to people and educate them on the truth about vaccines. He added that though the authorities have a program to reach out to the community, people need to see those with whom they can relate.
Earlier this month, Fauci said that coronavirus is his “worst nightmare” when compared to Ebola and HIV. Speaking at Biotechnology Innovation Organization International Convention via a recorded video, Dr Fauci noted that Ebola was scary but the transmission rate was low and HIV transmission depended on an individual’s way of living.
Dr Fauci said that he always feared a novel respiratory infection likely to jump from an animal and had a very high degree of transmissibility. He added that the world has seen virus outbreaks in the past which possesses some of those characteristics but COVID-19 had all those characteristics combined.
“Now we have something that turned out to be my worst nightmare. In the period of four months, it has devastated the world,” said Dr Fauci, also a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
On June 28, Coronavirus cases across the globe surpassed the sombre landmark of 10 million with deaths related to COVID-19 crossing the mark of 500,000. The United States, Brazil, and Russia are the worst-hit countries while India reporting a sharp rise in the coronavirus cases. The United States has reported over 2.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, more than one-fourth of the total cases reported worldwide, and over 125,000 deaths related to it so far.