Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, received Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccination on Tuesday, noting that he was publicly getting inoculated in part to send a signal that the vaccine was safe and effective.
With President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Mike Pence having already received their vaccines on camera, Fauci and other top officials from the National Institutes of Health received their doses days after the FDA authorized emergency use of the Moderna vaccine. Rolling up his sleeve, the 79-year-old director of the National Institute of Health and Infectious Diseases expressed confidence in the preventative medication the NIH helped develop.
“For me, it is important for two reasons,” he said. “I am attending physician here on staff at the NIH clinical center. As important if not more important, as a symbol to the rest of the country that I feel extreme confidence in the safety and efficacy of this vaccine and I want to encourage everyone who has the opportunity to get vaccinated so that we can have protection in this country that will end this pandemic.”
Fauci, who will serve as Biden’s chief medical adviser, recently said that the general public should begin receiving vaccinations by spring and that the majority of the population would likely be immunized by summer, clarifying comments made by Surgeon General nominee Dr. Vivek Murthy.