NIH director asks Americans to leave behind “conspiracy theories” about vaccinations and “look at the facts.”


WASHINGTON – Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, on Sunday made a direct call to Americans to “press the reset button” over skepticism about approved Covid-19 vaccines, stressing that the approval process and strong safety measures that are trusted they must give to the public.

Collins said in an interview with “Meet the Press” that mistrust of vaccines remains a major concern for public health officials and insisted that anyone who “wants to look at the facts” develop, test, and safety record the vaccine. “very reassuring”.

“I would like to ask people who are listening to this this morning to actually press the reset button, whatever they think they know about this vaccination that can be so skeptical. The data is there now, ”he said.

“This is a very strong result of this incredibly intense, year-round experience. I think every reasonable person – if he had the opportunity to set aside noise and ignore all those horrible conspiracy theories – would look at this and say, I want this for my family, for myself. People are just dying; how could you say that we should wait to see if that means that some terrible tragedy is going to happen?

The Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in the United States on Friday, making it the first vaccine to receive this status in the country.

Vaccination began on Sunday morning, and some vaccinations begin earlier this week.

Phase 3 studies of Pfizer found that the vaccine was 95 percent effective when given in two doses, three weeks apart. He also found that just one shot provides about 50 percent immunity to Covid-19, so the FDA says two shots are needed.

The Pfizer vaccine has already been licensed in the UK, Canada and Bahrain. And several vaccines are already in the final stages of development.

But for months, polls have shown that much of America is skeptical about getting Covid-19 vaccine themselves.

President Donald Trump sought to recognize the rapid and effective development of the vaccine. And it put pressure on public health officials to approve the vaccine for widespread use. For example, before FDA’s approval announcement on Friday Trump has tweeted this Stephen Hahn, the FDA commissioner, should “get the barrier (sic) vaccines” and “stop the games and save lives”.

Asked whether such rhetoric has contributed to public opinion about vaccination, Collins replied, “I think it’s part of skepticism, among many other things, that reflect the terrible polarization we’re pursuing about absolutely everything in this country. “

“There have been few vaccines that have ever been tested like this. If you want to look at the facts, I think you need to calm it down a lot, ”Collins said.

– Remove all noise, and yes, skepticism that comes from possible interference from some source. This did not determine the result. It was based on scientific decision making. “

As the vaccine is sent nationwide for starting vaccinations, Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to soar in America.

According to the Covid Tracking Project, more than 108,000 people in American hospitals currently live with Covid-19 as the number of current hospital patients has continued to grow in each of the past seven days.

There were more than 210,000 new cases in America on Saturday, with three states (Delaware, South Carolina and West Virginia) setting new one-day case records. There were 2,376 deaths attributable to the virus on Saturday, with Alaska and Massachusetts setting daily mortality records, according to NBC News analysis.

Collins says vaccination will be so important against a worsening background.

“It depends quite a bit on the American public as to whether people are willing to participate in this vaccination plan,” he said.

“Experts would say that 70 to 80 percent of Americans need immunity before this virus would basically give up and go away. And we think we can get there by about June for almost all of the 330 million Americans who are interested in this vaccination. But if only half of them do this, it can go on and on. “

And he noted that while it is clear that the vaccine provides strong protection for people against symptomatic Covid-19 infection, scientists still need a few months to find out if a vaccinated person can continue to pass the infection on to others without that they would know about it.

Therefore, Collins says masks should be an indispensable part of American life for many months to come.

“Masks will continue to be a part of our lives, we need to recognize that and not tear or drop the guard,” he said.

“We definitely need to double everything Americans can do to save lives, and we need to look at the lives lost and the tragedy that is going on there. If we have a chance to prepare for these next months, which can be very dark anyway, just a little better, why not do that?