The COVID-19 vaccine is proving effective against new variants in Britain and South Africa, the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday.
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the United States is “going to be doing the studies ourselves.”
“These are viruses and continually mutating all the time,” he said. “Most of the time the mutations don’t have a functional significance. But every once in a while when you track it, you see something that gives a hint of, or maybe even a reality of a higher degree of transmissible.
“Our British colleagues have looked at it. We are looking at it intensively now,” he continued. “Did it make somebody more ill? ? It doesn’t appear to be that way.
“The other issue does it escape the protection that is induced by the vaccines that we are currently using? And according to our British colleagues, that does not seem to be the case.”
Fauci believes that although only about 2 million have been vaccinated so far, the mass inoculation campaign will “gain momentum.”
“I think we are going to get there probably end of March, beginning of April. So if we start vaccinating the general population in April… I hope by the time we get to the fall, we will reach that critical percentage of people that we can really start thinking about and return to some form of normality,” he said.