Dr. Fauci Just Said This One Thing Could Turn the Pandemic Around

These new developments could be exactly what we need to alter the course of coronavirus.

As we pass the one-year anniversary of the first COVID case reported in the U.S., everyone is eager to know when we can put the pandemic behind us. With cases starting to go down and vaccines being administered, the end seems to be in sight. Anthony Fauci, MD, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, says there is another key piece to the puzzle that would help "turn around the entire situation." Read on for Fauci's insight on the future of the pandemic, and for advice from the infectious disease expert, Dr. Fauci Says You Need One of These at Home to Avoid COVID.

Dr. Fauci thinks antiviral drugs are essential to turning the pandemic around.

Female doctor consults mature patient during the quarantine for coronavirus

During a Jan. 22 interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, Fauci said experts are "putting a lot of effort" into developing "direct, acting antiviral drugs" for people who are severely ill from COVID. Someone who is symptomatic might get a 7- to 10-day course to prevent them from getting sicker and having to go to the hospital. Fauci believes having antiviral drugs at the ready would help curtail the COVID pandemic.

Biden's coronavirus adviser said that when we have antiviral drugs available, "that will really turn around the entire situation of our ability to prevent someone from progressing and going into a state where they really have advanced disease."

He compared the development of these drugs with those of the HIV epidemic. "The real goal," he told Maddow, "is to do what we did so successfully with HIV." However, unlike HIV, Fauci notes, antiviral drugs for COVID would only have to be taken for a short period of time. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Antiviral drugs for COVID aren't far from being developed.

Developing pills in lab

Fauci told Maddow that under normal circumstances, these kinds of drugs would take years to develop, but we'll likely see them "much sooner than we think." He noted that there are multiple candidates being developed. And when one of these drugs is promising, Fauci said, "you get it into a phase one trial quickly, and because the situation is so dire in the sense of the need for therapeutics, you move it along."

He emphasized that this process doesn't neglect safety. "Safety is always important. But if you can show it's safe, has good antiviral activity, we can move relatively quickly on that," he added. And for guidance on staying healthy in the meantime, Dr. Fauci Says This Is the One Thing You Shouldn't Be Doing Right Now.

One-dose vaccines could also help us turn the pandemic around faster.

General practitioner vaccinating old patient at home

As we watch the current struggle to produce enough vaccines for everyone to receive two doses, it's clear that a vaccine that is as effective in one dose as it is in two would make a significant difference in how quickly everyone can get inoculated.

One major benefit of a single-dose vaccine would be that "you can expect to start to see results you know, 10, 14 days or so right after and then when you get to 28 days, you probably continue to go up," Fauci explained. And for vaccine side effects to be aware of, Dr. Fauci Says He Had These Side Effects From His Second Vaccine Dose.

We're also close to having a one-dose vaccine.

Nurse applying vaccine on patient's arm while wearing a face mask

Fauci said we're very close to seeing a one-dose vaccine. "I would think that no more than two weeks from now," he predicted. "The data will be analyzed in a similar fashion, the way we analyzed it with the Moderna and the Pfizer candidate."

He added that this is "really good news" because if the vaccine company can obtain an emergency authorization, having another candidate gives more flexbility. And for more on preventing the spread of coronavirus, This One Type of Face Mask Is "Unacceptable" Warns the Mayo Clinic.

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