Will herd immunity curb COVID-19? Not with rampant spread of ‘anti-science, anti-authority, anti-vaccine’ views

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With government support, three coronavirus vaccines are expected to be studied in large-scale clinical trials in the next three months.

“The best we’ve ever done is measles, which is 97 to 98 percent effective,” said [Anthony] Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “That would be wonderful if we get there. I don’t think we will. I would settle for [a] 70, 75% effective vaccine.”

CNN poll last month found one-third of Americans said they would not try to get vaccinated against Covid, even if the vaccine is widely available and low cost.

In an interview [June 16], CNN asked Fauci whether a vaccine with 70% to 75% efficacy taken by only two-thirds of the population would provide herd immunity to the coronavirus.

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“No — unlikely,” he answered.

Herd immunity is when a sufficient proportion of a population is immune to an infectious disease, either through prior illness or vaccination, so that spread from person to person unlikely.

Fauci noted that “there is a general anti-science, anti-authority, anti-vaccine feeling among some people in this country — an alarmingly large percentage of people, relatively speaking.”

He said given the power of the anti-vaccine movement, “we have a lot of work to do” to educate people on the truth about vaccines.

“It’s not going to be easy,” he said. “Anyone [who] thinks it will be easy is not facing reality.”

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