As drug makers work on developing vaccines against the coronavirus, Dr Anthony Fauci stressed the importance of overcoming public scepticism toward inoculations using a campaign of community engagement and outreach, according to a report.
“If we get a widespread uptake of the vaccine, we can put an end to the pandemic and we can create a veil of immunity that would prevent the infection coming back,” the top infectious diseases expert said on CNN on Monday.
“You have to do it by extending yourself to the community, not by a dictum from Washington,” added Fauci, a member of the White House pandemic task force.
Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is working with Moderna on a vaccine.
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On Monday, the Cambridge, Mass.-based drugmaker began the final round of clinical trials, making it the first candidate to enter a crucial stage of research in the US.
The company’s Phase 3 trial will test its experimental inoculation in about 30,000 people at nearly 100 research sites across the country to evaluate whether it can safely and effectively prevent COVID-19 infections.
Fauci called it “crunch time” for vaccine development, adding that he was “cautiously optimistic” about the progress.