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Somebody asked Dr. Fauci which COVID vaccine he’d get, and here’s what he said

December 19th, 2020 at 9:12 AM
Coronavirus vaccine
  • White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has revealed which coronavirus vaccine he plans to get.
  • With Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine being distributed now, and FDA approval of an emergency use authorization for Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine expected Friday, there will quickly be multiple variants of the vaccine to administer.
  • Dr. Fauci has said he’d simply take whichever choice is available for him when it’s time for him to get vaccinated, not expressing a preference for one or another.

In a new appearance on NBC’s TODAY show, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci offered viewers some more fantastic coronavirus vaccine news: Assuming the FDA decision goes as planned, the Moderna COVID vaccine — which Dr. Fauci and the National Institute of Health that he works for had a big hand in — should start to be administered to Americans around the country early next week (“I would hope Monday or Tuesday”).

What’s more, Dr. Fauci also told TODAY show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie that he’s going to get vaccinated as soon as he can and that he hopes it will be “within the next few days to the early part of next week.” In a separate interview this week, Dr. Fauci said he’d also join several prominent Americans, including President Trump’s three White House predecessors as well as Vice President Mike Pence, who all committed to getting vaccinated publicly. All of which begs the question: With multiple COVID vaccines on hand to choose from, does Dr. Fauci know which one he’ll get?

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He does, in fact. During a December 16 interview on CNBC’s Healthy Returns, speaking with Meg Tirrell, Dr. Fauci said that he’ll get whichever vaccine is available first when it comes time for him to be vaccinated. The FDA, remember, approved an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine late last week, and it quickly began to get distributed and administered around the country. As of the time of this writing, similar FDA approval of an EUA for Moderna’s COVID vaccine was expected on Friday, so Dr. Fauci’s point is that whichever of the vaccines is available in his area when it’s his turn — that’s the one he’s getting.

At the same time, there is another crucial vaccine message that Dr. Fauci wants people to be aware of — the pandemic will still be with us for a little while longer, in spite of the arrival of these vaccines.

“We can’t just say ‘Well, there’s a vaccine on the horizon, so let’s forget about everything else,'” Dr. Fauci warned on the TODAY show. “We still are in a serious situation … We absolutely have to adhere to the public health measures that we’re talking about all the time — the wearing of masks, the physical distancing, the avoiding crowds in congregate settings.”

Along those lines, December looks set to be the deadliest month of the pandemic yet. According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the US death toll from the virus so far this month has topped 42,500. The only month that’s been worse than that so far is April — and even though we’re only halfway through December, the US has already reached 70% of April’s coronavirus death total (61,000).

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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