Anthony Fauci, the foremost infectious disease specialist in the United States, along with other senior officials and six health workers, received his Covid-19 vaccine at a live streaming event held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Tuesday.
The distinguished scientist rolled up his left sleeve and said he was doing the shot “as a symbol for the rest of the country that I am extremely confident in the safety and effectiveness of this vaccine.
“I would like to encourage everyone who has the opportunity to get vaccinated so that we have a veil of protection over this country that would end this pandemic,” he added.
Then he gave a thumbs-up sign and clapped for his colleagues as he left the stage of an auditorium at the NIH headquarters in Bethesda, a suburb of Washington.
The 79-year-old, who continues to practice as a doctor, was among the first Americans to receive injections developed by Moderna and the NIH’s National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which he has headed since 1984.
NIH Director Francis Collins and Health Secretary Alex Azar also received their vaccinations at the ceremony.
“I want the people of America to know that I have absolute and complete confidence in the integrity and independence of the procedures used by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve these vaccines,” said Azar, a political representative for the Trump administration.
Prior to them, six health care workers received their recordings, many of whom looked emotional as they explained why they had chosen to have a vaccination.
“I work directly with Covid patients so I felt I had a chance, why not,” said nurse Naomi Richardson.
– Trust grows –
A new poll found that Americans’ willingness to take a coronavirus vaccine has increased since the first two vaccines were approved.
The USA TODAY / Suffolk University poll, conducted Wednesday through Sunday, found 46 percent were willing to take the vaccine as soon as possible – a sharp jump from the 26 percent who had similarly responded at the end of October.
Another 32 percent said they would wait for others to take the pictures before doing it themselves.
Twenty percent are not convinced. Experts say that 70-75 percent of the population must be vaccinated to achieve population immunity.
Previously, Fauci paid tribute to his colleagues, saying the vaccine “essentially stems from the basic research being done here at NIH”.
NIAID scientists helped develop the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology used in the Moderna vaccine, which gives the human body the genetic instructions it needs to make a coronavirus surface protein.
This simulates a natural infection and trains the immune system to be ready when it encounters the real virus.
Traditional vaccines use weakened or inactivated forms of microbes and take much longer to develop and enlarge.
The U.S. is hoping to immunize 20 million people this month, with long-term care residents and health workers at the forefront.
On Sunday, a committee of experts said that people aged 75 and over, along with 30 million frontline essential workers, including teachers, grocery store clerks and police officers, should be the next to be vaccinated.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)