Dr. Anthony Fauci, Foremost Infectious Diseases Expert

End to pandemic in sight as Pfizer vaccine’s trial success may boost acceptance: Fauci

*Dr. Anthony Fauci, leading infectious-disease expert says the development could be a key factor in overcoming reluctance to take pandemic vaccines, as immunisations are to begin in high-priority groups late December 2020

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Following considerable progress being recorded with clinical trials of vaccine candidates to combat the ravaging Coronavirus (COVID-19) p

andemic across the world, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a foremost infectious diseases expert and Director of the US National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said the success of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine trial may help persuade more people to get immunised amid a surge in virus cases.

ConsumerConnect gathered Fauci, who stated this in a recent interview, noted that Pfizer’s vaccine, developed in collaboration with Germany’s BioNTech SE, has “an extraordinarily high degree of efficacy ─ more than 90%, close to 95%.

The infectious-disease expert said the positive development could be a key factor in overcoming reluctance to take pandemic vaccines that have been developed at top speed.

He explained: “What I would hope is that even though there’s a degree of skepticism about vaccines in general, that when the general public sees how effective this vaccine is.

“We might see a turnaround of the attitude toward vaccination.”

Fauci has disclosed that the United States (US) may begin offering the vaccine to priority groups at the end of December 2020.

Results of a late-stage trial of a vaccine candidate from Moderna Inc. that uses the same messenger RNA technology as the Pfizer shot are likely to be available within a week, said he.

The expert added: “And if that is really comparable to what we saw with the Pfizer trial, we’ll now have two highly effective vaccines.

“We’ve got to convince people to take the vaccine, because if you have a highly effective vaccine and only 50% of the people take it, you’re not going to have the impact that you’d need to essentially bring a pandemic down to such a low level that it’s no longer threatening society.

“And that’s the goal of a vaccine.”

The Trump administration has both purchased and funded development of doses from Pfizer and other drugmakers with a goal of making enough supplies for most Americans by year-end, report said.

Researchers including Paul Offit, Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, have said the name of Trump administration’s effort tagged, Operation Warp Speed, may have created an impression that corners are being cut to create a vaccine, thereby undermining public confidence.

Just over half of US adults said in September they would definitely or probably take a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 if it were available, down from 72% in May, a national survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Center showed.

A survey in June of people in 19 countries published last month in the journal Science found 71.5% of participants would probably take a COVID-19 vaccine, with acceptance ranging from almost 90% in China to less than 55% in Russia.

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