Fauci underscores vaccine safety amid virus surge

The nation's top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Thursday that "he wants to settle" concerns about a coronavirus vaccine as he returns to the White House podium for the first time in months. (Nov. 19)

Video Transcript

- The light brown bars are the number of tests that were performed. But even with the number, an ever increasing number of tests performed, you can see the increase in test positivity to around 10%. In some areas of the country, it is much higher than that. And it illustrates the ongoing community spread in your counties, in your small and large metros, and in your rural areas.

The next slide really shows the country as a whole and why we're asking every American to remain vigilant, to do those things that we have been asking you all to do-- to wear a mask, to physically distance, to continue your hand hygiene. But really in this moment of bringing people together, to really limit on interactions indoors to immediate households when we see this level of community spread.

ANTHONY FAUCI: As you well know, Operation Warp Speed has been supporting, directly and indirectly, six candidate vaccines, four of which are either in or completed Phase III clinical trial. I want to briefly tell you about two of them because you have to be interested in this. It is extraordinarily impressive. Two of the vaccines, one by Moderna and one by the company Pfizer, have completed trials. And the efficacious vaccine efficacy point is extraordinary.

With regard to Pfizer, it was 95% efficacious not only against disease that's just clinically recognizable disease, but severe disease. There were 10 cases of severe disease-- one in the vaccine, nine in the placebo. For the Moderna trial, it was 94.5% efficacious. 11 severe events, 0 in the vaccine, 11 in the placebo. For those of you not acquainted with the field of vaccinology, that is extraordinary.

The process of the speed did not compromise at all safety nor did it compromise scientific integrity. It was a reflection of the extraordinary scientific advances in these types of vaccines which allowed us to do things in months that actually took years before. So I really want to settle that concern that people have about that.