NIH head fears some will bypass a COVID-19 vaccine
Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., who heads the U.S. National Institutes of Health, is worried that antivaxxers will disrupt efforts to convince Americans to get vaccinated against the new coronavirus, CNN reported Thursday.
"I'm a bit concerned to see there's a fair amount of skepticism in the American public about whether or not they would take such a vaccine," Collins told CNN. "We won't get past COVID-19 unless we have a substantial majority of our public ultimately rendered immune." Some experts think the vaccine campaign, which President Donald Trump has dubbed "Operation Warp Speed," makes it sound like speed outweighs safety.
"I want to assure everybody who's heard the [words] 'warp speed' and worried that that means we're cutting corners on safety, that we absolutely will not do this," Collins said. "No vaccine is going to be put forward unless it's been checked out very thoroughly, both in terms of is it safe and does it protect you."
A vaccine is expected early in 2021. Collins said he hopes "the American public will embrace this as an opportunity to protect themselves, and the rest of their community, in order to get us all back to some sort of normal state."
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