CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The nation’s leading coronavirus expert talked to University of Virginia medical students and the greater community about what we know about the virus, and what lies ahead.
During UVA’s Medical Center Hour, Dr. Anthony Fauci shared key insights, especially when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines.
“We would like to see almost everybody get vaccinated with this,” White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Fauci said. He says almost everyone has to buy in and get the vaccine to see real progress.
“I think we can certainly end it as a pandemic, but you would need probably close to 75 to 80%, if not more, to get really good herd immunity,” he said.
He says there is heightened distrust in the vaccine in minority populations.
“Forty percent of Blacks say they don’t want it and 32% say they’re not sure about it,” Dr. Fauci said. “Hispanics, it’s 23% and 37% and this is something that we must address by outreach in the community by individuals that the community actually trusts.”
Fauci says there is no reason for the public suspicion.
“If it’s skepticism about the process, like ‘was this rushed?’ the speed is really because of the extraordinary technology,” he said. That technology includes new approaches and billions spent by the federal government.
“That is the reason why it goes so quick,” Fauci said. “The career scientists at the FDA, the scientists like myself, that will look at the data, all of that is independent and transparent.”
He says the noise that comes out of Washington in this divisive time is confusing people.
“People may say ‘well, I don’t really trust that, they’re trying to rush this out to look good.’ Not at all,” Fauci said.
Fauci says who gets the vaccine early on will depend on who needs it first. The first phase would include high-risk healthcare workers, first responders, those with a higher risk of comorbidity, and older people in group settings.
“Then after that, you go to phase two which includes critical risk people in the essential industries, teachers, staff, etc,” Fauci said.
Fauci also discussed therapeutics, virology, best practices, and so much more. His full presentation will be uploaded to UVA’s Medical Center Hour YouTube page in a few days.