Dr. Anthony Fauci on Friday said it's highly unlikely a coronavirus vaccine with 98 percent effectiveness will be developed.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said a vaccine that is 50 percent or 60 percent effective would be acceptable, although 75 percent would be preferred.
“The chances of it being 98 percent effective is not great, which means you must never abandon the public health approach,” Fauci said during a Q&A with Brown University School of Public Health.
“You’ve got to think of the vaccine as a tool to be able to get the pandemic to no longer be a pandemic, but to be something that’s well-controlled,” Fauci said.
The FDA said it would only authorize a coronavirus that is at least 50 percent effective. FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn in July said that a COVID-19 vaccine that ultimately gets approved will have more than 50 percent effectiveness. He added that the vaccine may reduce coronavirus infections by only 50 percent.
A vaccine with 50 percent effectiveness would be aligned with treatments for the flu, and lower than the rate of effectiveness of a one-dose measles vaccination, which is 93 percent effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We really felt strongly that that had to be the floor,” Hahn said on July 30, saying that it’s “been batted around among medical groups.”
“But for the most part, I think, infectious disease experts have agreed that that’s a reasonable floor, of course hoping that the actual effectiveness will be higher.”
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