Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said that there are two things that make a vaccination program effective: the efficacy of the vaccine and how many people take it.
Fauci was speaking to CBS’s Margaret Brennan on Face The Nation on Sunday. Brennan quoted Operation Warp Speeds chief scientific advisor, Moncef Slaoui, saying “we could have true herd immunity take place somewhere in the month of May as the vaccine is distributed.”
Brennan then asked Fauci if America goes back to normal life in May.
“You know, I don’t think so, unless we do, and I believe you’re referring to Moncef Slaoui who said that,” Fauci said, adding “and I totally agree with him,” after Brennan confirmed.
“If you have a highly efficacious vaccine, and only a relatively small 40, 50% of the people get vaccinated, you’re not going to get the herd immunity you need,” Fauci said. “What we do need is we need to get as many people as possible vaccinated.”
This is why, he explained, “we want to be very transparent” and for people to understand the independent, transparent process which led to the point of the US Food and Drug Administration, along with independent advisory committees, saying that the vaccines are safe and effective with an EUA and ultimately a license.
“When the American public hears that, you should be assured that that is the case and if you get an overwhelming majority of the people vaccinated with a highly efficacious vaccine, we can reasonably quickly get into herd immunity that would be a blanket of protection for the country,” Fauci said.