Dr Fauci gives thumbs up as he receives Covid vaccine

 ‘I want to encourage everyone who has the opportunity to get vaccinated,’ says Fauci

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Tuesday 22 December 2020 22:47
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Dr Anthony Fauci receives the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine

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Dr Anthony Fauci gave an enthusiastic thumbs up after receiving his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The US’s leading expert on infectious diseases joined Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and director Francis Collins, as well as other staff at the National Institutes of Health, at a vaccination event on Tuesday morning.

They were given the Moderna vaccine which the Food and Drug Administration most recently issued emergency use authorisation.

Said Dr Fauci: “I feel extreme confidence in the safety and the efficacy of this vaccine, and I want to encourage everyone who has the opportunity to get vaccinated, so that we can have a veil of protection over this country that would end this pandemic.”

Dr Fauci, Dr Collins and Secretary Azar join the ranks of officials and healthcare workers getting the vaccine on camera in an effort to show Americans that it is safe.

Donald Trump is yet to have the vaccine, but White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has said that he is “open” to getting it.

President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill both received their first dose of the vaccine yesterday. Mr Biden credited the current administration for the success of Operation Warp Speed.

Six healthcare workers from the NIH Clinical Centre received the vaccine, known as mRNA-1273, kicking off the event. The Moderna vaccine has a 94 per cent efficacy rate.

Following the event, additional healthcare workers from the centre will receive the vaccine from the agency’s first shipment of 100 doses.

NIH expects a sizeable shipment from the State of Maryland next week for its tier 1 front line healthcare workers.

Earlier in the day, Dr Fauci, who turns 80 on Thursday, said that vaccination of the general population will likely begin in late March or early April once priority groups have received their doses.

He said that timelines will vary depending on the efficiency of distribution.

Speaking at the NIH event, Dr Fauci said: “What we're seeing now is the culmination of years of research that has led to a phenomenon that is unprecedented. A virus that was described in January of this year to less than one year later, have vaccines going into people's arms.”

He added: “I consider it an honour to be part of this process.”

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