While it is OK to celebrate news about vaccine efficacy, it’s not a signal to pull back on public health measures, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Tuesday.
“Yes, it’s OK to celebrate it because from a scientific and potential public health standpoint, this is an extraordinarily important advance,” Fauci told NPR’s Rachel Martin on “Morning Edition.”
Fauci said he had previously said that he would feel good if there was a vaccine that was 70 to 75% effective, which, combined with public health measures, could have had an impact on the outbreak. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccine candidates have a 90% and 94.5% efficacy, respectively.
“94.5% for this and more than 90% for the Pfizer candidate, to me, is a very, very important advance in our armamentarium of trying to stop this outbreak,” he said.
However, vaccines won’t do it alone.
“That’s the important point, this should not be a signal to pull back on the public health measures that we must continue to implement,” said Fauci.