Urging Americans to get vaccinated as the Biden administration fell short of its July 4 vaccination goal of 70%, Dr. Anthony Fauci cited data showing about 99.2% of June's nearly 10,000 COVID-19 fatalities were unvaccinated.
"If you look at the number of deaths, about 99.2% of them are unvaccinated — about 0.8% are vaccinated," Fauci told NBC's "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd on Sunday. "No vaccine is perfect. But when you talk about the avoidability of hospitalization and death, Chuck, it's really sad and tragic that most all of these are avoidable and preventable."
The less than 1% of COVID-19 fatalities being among the vaccinated people is not a knock against the vaccine, added Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the president.
"I mean, obviously there are going to be some people, because of the variability among people and their response to vaccine, that you'll see some who are vaccinated and still get into trouble and get hospitalized and die, but the overwhelming proportion of people who get into trouble are the unvaccinated — which is the reason why we say this is really entirely avoidable and preventable," Fauci said.
Fauci urged Americans to put aside their reluctance to be vaccinated.
"We do have the tools to counter it, so for goodness' sakes, put aside all of those differences and realize that the common enemy is the virus — and we have a tool, a highly effective tool against this virus," Fauci continued. "And we in our country are very fortunate, Chuck. We have enough vaccines to vaccinate essentially everybody in the country.
"And there are people throughout the world who would do anything to get vaccines. If you look at the world situation, you know, 10% of the world is vaccinated. We could vaccinate everybody if they would wind up saying that, 'Let's just put everything aside and get vaccinated and put an end to this terrible tragedy.'"
About 67% of American adults have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose and 47.4% are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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