Explaining vaccination safety and efficacy to the community to reduce the national number of COVID-19 cases is at the forefront of priorities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said Anthony Fauci, MD, at the virtual 2021 American Psychiatric Association Meeting.
Dr. Fauci, Director of NIAID, delivered a keynote at the virtual meeting outlining the “lessons learned and remaining challenges” regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There are a number of reasons why people don't want to take the vaccine, and we've just got to address each of them,” said Dr. Fauci. “We now have a COVID-19 Community Corps which is reaching out to people with messengers who are trusted by the community to get people to understand why it's important for their own health, that of their family, and that of their community, to get vaccinated.”
The COVID-19 Community Corps, launched by the US Department of Health and Human Services, is a network of volunteers such as sports figures and clergy members outreaching to the community using “trusted messages” to convince people of the importance, safety, and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, said Dr. Fauci.
“The speed and efficiency with which these vaccines were developed in their potential for saving millions of lives was not done because we cut corners, but it was due to an extraordinary multidisciplinary effect effort involving basic preclinical and clinical science that had been underway,” Dr. Fauci told virtual attendees.
“We're still in the middle of a considerable challenge with regard to the number of cases per day, but we are doing extraordinarily well in the distribution of vaccines and we hope in the next few weeks to a month will be starting to see a dramatic diminution in the number of cases per day,” said Dr. Fauci.
“Covid-19 in 2021: lessons learned and remaining challenges”. Presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s 2021 Annual Meeting: Virtual; May 2, 2021.