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Fauci: If a Large Number of People Refuse COVID-19 Vaccine, We Will Not Achieve 'Herd Immunity'

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Dr. Anthony Fauci suggests if there are enough people refusing to get the coronavirus vaccine once made available, the U.S. will not achieve “herd immunity.”

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci, told CNN during an interview Sunday that the best ever done on vaccines was for the measles, which he says “is 97 to 98% effective.”

“That would be wonderful if we get there,” he added about COVID-19, before saying, “I don’t think we will. I would settle for [a] 70, 75% effective vaccine.”

Asked about a previous CNN poll showing a third of Americans saying they will not get a COVID-19 vaccine and if that will then “get us to herd immunity,” Fauci responded, “No, unlikely.”

The definition of herd immunity is “a situation in which a sufficient proportion of a population is immune to an infectious disease (through vaccination and/or prior illness) to make its spread from person to person unlikely,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Fauci continued, “That’s one of the reasons why we have to make sure we engage the community as we’re doing now to get community people to help us for people to understand that we are doing everything we can to show that it’s safe and that it’s effective and it’s for the good of them as individuals and in society to take the vaccine. So we have a lot of work to do.”

See Fauci’s remarks below:

Fauci then added, “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.”

The CNN poll published in mid-May shows that two-thirds of Americans said they would get the vaccine for the coronavirus if made available. Additionally, “about half say the availability of effective treatments for the virus would increase their comfort level considerably,” regarding carrying out a regular routine, as CNN reports.

Fauci also said during the Sunday interview that he is “cautiously optimistic” about a vaccine being made widely available by the beginning of 2021.

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