Immunologist Anthony Fauci, a highly respected figure in the United States, welcomed Monday the announcement by the American company Moderna of a vaccine that is nearly 95% effective against COVID-19.
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“The idea of having a vaccine that is 94.5% effective is incredibly impressive,” he told AFP. “It’s a really stunning result, I think nobody expected it to be so good.”
Dr Fauci is the director of the US Institute of Infectious Diseases, which began co-developing the vaccine in January, after Chinese authorities released the genetic sequence of the new coronavirus.
The vaccine is based on a new technology that involves inserting genetic instructions into the body to trigger the production of a protein identical to that of the coronavirus (its recognizable tip), and elicit an immune response.
“Many people had reservations” about this method “which had not yet been tested and proven,” notes Dr. Fauci. “Some even criticized us for it.”
The Pfizer / BioNTech alliance had already announced last week a 90% effective vaccine against COVID-19 based on the same technology.
What confirm, according to Anthony Fauci, the viability of the latter.
“The data speaks for itself,” he says. “I think when you have two vaccines like these that have been shown to be over 90% effective” the technology “just doesn’t have to work anymore.”
“There is still a long way to go,” warns the specialist, however, worried in particular about the number of people resistant to vaccines in the United States, the country most affected in absolute terms by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Anti-vaccine sentiment is high in this country. We have to be able to overcome it and convince the population to be vaccinated, because a highly effective vaccine is useless if no one is vaccinated ”.