The FDA has granted emergency use authorization to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. Now the next step is to actually distribute it — but Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has serious concerns about how the rollout will go.
The trouble? Anti-vaxxers and others who are specifically concerned about this vaccine's safety and efficacy, Fauci told The Daily Beast. Without the public's trust in the vaccine, a problem that could stem even from hesitant frontline healthcare workers, we may run into the problem in which too few people get inoculated for the vaccine to turn the pandemic around.
"My primary biggest fear is that a substantial proportion of the people will be hesitant to get vaccinated," Fauci told Beast. "I think there are going to be many people who don't want to get vaccinated right away.
"But once you get, you know, tens of millions of people vaccinated, it looks like it's working and it's safe," Fauci added, "then I think we’ll win over a large proportion of the rest of the population, who might have some hesitancy about getting vaccinated."
The resistance to a coronavirus vaccine is twofold. On one hand, there're regular old anti-vaxxers who unreasonably suspect that any vaccine will be dangerous. But also, Fauci explains, there are healthcare workers who would typically trust a vaccine but may be suspicious about how blazingly Pfizer's development process was compared to the typical development timeline of a new pharmaceutical.
But that quick development process came from improvements to scientific platforms that allowed researchers to work at a faster pace, not the sort of slapdash job the vaccine skeptics seem to have inferred.
"I hope this process unfolds smoothly," Fauci told Beast. “I think it will. [It's] going to be the beginning of an important era in how we’re attacking this virus."
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READ MORE: Anthony Fauci Reveals His Biggest COVID Vaccine Fear [The Daily Beast]
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