If You're Doubting the COVID Vaccine, Dr. Fauci Has a Message for You
The infectious disease expert wants the American people to understand this about the vaccine.
The COVID vaccine has faced a lot of scrutiny throughout the pandemic. While many Americans were eager for the vaccine to be ready sooner, now that it's finally here, some have expressed concern that it was created so quickly. If you're feeling skeptical about how expediently the vaccine was developed, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has a reassuring message for you.
While Fauci was on ABC's Good Morning America on Dec. 15, George Stephanopoulos asked the question that many people have been mulling over: "How can we be sure it's safe when it was developed so quickly?" Fauci assured the host and viewers that "the speed was not at all at the sacrifice of safety. The speed was the reflection of extraordinary advances in the science of vaccine platform technology."
A Dec. 15 survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that more people have gotten on board with the vaccine over the past couple months: 71 percent of Americans said they will "definitely or probably" get the COVID vaccine, which is up from 63 percent in September. However, if you're still unsure about the vaccine, here is what Fauci and other doctors have to say about its trustworthiness. And for more on when you'll actually be able to get it, Dr. Fauci Just Said You'll Be Able to Get the COVID Vaccine Even Sooner.
Fauci credited advances in technology for the speed of the vaccine.
The COVID vaccine was developed in record time, which may sound off-putting to the skeptics, but scientists today have access to more advanced technology—paired with a more pressing need—than developers of past vaccines.
"People understandably are skeptical about the speed, but we have to keep emphasizing speed means the science was extraordinary that got us here," said Fauci. He added that five or 10 years ago, this process may have taken several years, but in 2020, it only took a matter of months. And for more vaccine guidance, You Shouldn't Do This Right After Getting a COVID Vaccine, Expert Warns.
Fauci also acknowledged the monetary investment, which helped get the vaccine distributed quickly.
In addition to the advances of science that allowed for the vaccine to be created so quickly, Fauci also noted the "extraordinary investment," which made getting the vaccine ready for distribution a seamless transition. Fauci said there were "hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars" contributed to ensure that many doses of the vaccine were ready to go the moment it was approved. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
The COVID vaccine is trustworthy due to an unprecedented level of scrutiny.
Fauci isn't the only expert vocally vouching for the vaccine. While on NBC's Meet the Press on Dec. 13, Francis Collins, MD, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), said the vaccine has been put through a more meticulous analysis than most vaccines to date.
"I think there have been few—if any—vaccines that have ever been subjected to this level of scrutiny," Collins said. "This was based upon scientific decision making of the most rigorous sort." And if you're worried about your safety in getting the vaccine, These Are the Only People Who Shouldn't Get the COVID Vaccine.
Anyone can access the data from the vaccine development process.
If you're still hesitant to get the vaccine, consider getting your eyes on the data, which has now been made public. Collins is confident that if everyone took the time to research the vaccine, they would feel comfortable taking it.
"I think all reasonable people—if they had the chance to sort of put the noise aside, disregard all those terrible conspiracy theories—would look at this and say, 'I want this for my family. I want it for myself,'" he said. And for more on the current spread of coronavirus, If You Have This Blood Type, You're at a High Risk of Severe COVID.