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What Dr. Fauci Said Right Before Getting Vaccinated

He said he feels he’s “a symbol to the rest of the country that” the vaccine is safe.
FACT CHECKED BY Checkmark Emilia Paluszek
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, gestures after receiving his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

For months, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the coronavirus vaccines would be so safe, he'd take one. And in fact others have been looking to him to see if it's safe before taking theirs. "People like Anthony Fauci, who I know, and I've worked with, I trust completely," former President Barack Obama said. "So if Anthony Fauci tells me this vaccine is safe, and can vaccinate, you know, immunize you from getting Covid, absolutely I'm going to take it."

Today, Fauci took it. Read on to see what he said—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Fauci Feels "Extreme Confidence" in the Vaccine

Before getting the first dose of the Moderna shot, Dr. Fauci said "it's important for two reasons. One is that I'm an attending physician here on the staff at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. And so I do see patients, 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 that we could have a veil of protection over this country that would end this pandemic."

When You'll Get Your Own Vaccine

With two vaccines—one from Pfizer-BioNTech and one from Moderna—distribution is expected to "speed up," say experts. "We know we have the vaccine available to get to 20 million people by the end of December and then a total of 50 million by the end of January," Alex Azar, the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, told the Today Show.

Fauci has previously said he's hopeful that "by the time you get into the middle, towards the end of the first quarter of 2021, you will have accounted for and vaccinated those who are in the higher priority groups." Then, "I would project by the time you get to April, it will be … 'open season,' in the sense of anyone, even the non-high priority groups could get vaccinated," Fauci said.

His next few months will be devoted to convincing you to get yours; the vaccine needs to be taken by enough people so we can develop herd immunity. "Why do I say that it is the only way that we're going to end this epidemic?" he asked earlier this month. "If we get, I would say a range from 70 to 85% of the population vaccinated, we will create an umbrella or a blanket as it were of herd immunity over the population to the point that the virus is not going to have any place to go in us. In other words, we could essentially end this outbreak in this country, as we know it, and put it in the rear view mirror." 

"I think now that we have in our hands vaccines that are 94 to 95% effective," he said, "so we need to make sure that we make that efficacy turn into effect."

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

How to Survive This Pandemic

As for yourself, follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—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, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.