Dr. Fauci Just Received the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

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Anthony Fauci, M.D., just got a COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, received his first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which was authorized a few days ago.

The Moderna vaccine was the second one to receive an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Like the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, Moderna’s uses mRNA technology to create a protective immune response in the body. Both of these vaccines are administered in two doses given a few weeks apart and appear to be effective at preventing COVID-19 infections that have noticeable symptoms. But it’s too early to know if they can also prevent asymptomatic infections. We also don’t have enough data yet to know whether or not they can prevent transmission of the infection from person to person.

“For me it’s important [to get the vaccine] for two reasons,” Dr. Fauci said before receiving his shot. “One, I’m an attending physician on the staff at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, so I do see patients,” he said. “But as important, or more important, is as a symbol to the rest of the country that I feel extreme confidence in the safety and the efficacy of this vaccine. And I want to encourage everyone who has the opportunity to get vaccinated so we can have a veil of protection over this country that would end this pandemic.” After getting his quick vaccination, Dr. Fauci stood up and gave an emphatic two thumbs-up to the camera.

Several people, including former President Obama and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, have said that they would feel comfortable getting a COVID-19 vaccine if the scientific community in general—and Dr. Fauci specifically—felt confident in it. So Dr. Fauci’s stamp of approval is a big deal for vaccine confidence in the country.

Having these vaccines available will not immediately end the pandemic (and, yes, you still have to wear a mask after getting the vaccine). But, as Dr. Fauci said, the vaccines will help give us the protection we need to start reducing the toll of the pandemic.

 

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