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Dr. Fauci's "Biggest Fear" About the COVID Vaccine

“My primary biggest fear is that a substantial proportion of the people will be hesitant to get vaccinated,” Fauci said. 
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The first coronavirus vaccines are shipping out of Kalamazoo, Michigan, today, the first real shots across the bow of the pandemic. What could go wrong? Well, a lot. The country has never attempted a mass vaccination of this scale, or on this timeline, ever before. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, sounds confident about the distribution—"We have a long, long history of the distribution of vaccines," he has said—but he did this weekend reveal one fear—in fact, his "biggest fear," about the vaccine. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Dr. Fauci Fears Not Enough People Will Get Vaccinated in Order for It to Be Effective

"My primary biggest fear is that a substantial proportion of the people will be hesitant to get vaccinated," Fauci told the Daily Beast. "I think there are going to be many people who don't want to get vaccinated right away. But once you get, you know, tens of millions of people vaccinated, it looks like it's working and it's safe, then I think we'll win over a large proportion of the rest of the population, who might have some hesitancy about getting vaccinated."

Fauci has previously said returning to normality depends on these folks overcoming that hesitancy. "Let's say we get 75 percent, 80 percent of the population vaccinated," Fauci said at an online "When Public Health Means Business" event sponsored by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. "If we do that, if we do it efficiently enough over the second quarter of 2021, by the time we get to the end of the summer, i.e., the third quarter, we may actually have enough herd immunity protecting our society that as we get to the end of 2021, we can approach very much some degree of normality that is close to where we were before."

"It's not going to be like turning a light switch on and off at all," he has said about getting back to normal. "99% of the people are not going to be vaccinated, they're not going to want to be vaccinated. So let's say you have…65 to 80% of the people want to get vaccinated. You still have a lot of people in society. And let's take this country as a societal unit that are vulnerable to being infected."

"So," he continued, "we're going to softly go to a graded degree of normality."

RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci

Dr. Fauci's "Worst Nightmare" Has Come True Before

Fauci has previously said: "People have asked me throughout the years what my worst nightmare was, and I always, always say, 'Well, it's a brand new infection that jumped species, that's a respiratory-borne, and that has a spectacular capability of going from person-to-person and has a high degree of morbidity and mortality, either in the general population or amongst selected groups," he revealed.

Sound familiar? His worst nightmare is basically COVID-19. "Well, here we are. You know, I'm living that thing that I feared the most," he confessed.

Fauci pointed out that "this is the worst outbreak that we've had of a respiratory borne illness in 102 years."

Until enough of us have taken the vaccine for it to be effective, do what you can to stop it from spreading—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene and to protect your life and the lives of others, and don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.