The United States is "unlikely" to develop herd immunity to COVID-19, said Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday because a partially effective vaccine is likely to be combined and a large number of people refuse to take it.
Fauci spoke to CNN's Elizabeth Cohen at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Sunday evening, saying he would be satisfied with a 70% to 75% effective coronavirus vaccine. In comparison, a measles vaccine is 97% to 98% effective.
"It would be wonderful if we get there," said Fauci, the government's leading infectious disease expert. "I don't think we'll do that. I would be content with a 70.75% effective vaccine."
Fauci said he remains confident that a vaccine will be developed. A number of promising drugs are under development, and there is hope that a vaccine can be distributed by the end of the year, despite the authorities warning that this is probably too optimistic.
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But Fauci pointed out another obstacle: "Some people in this country have a general feeling against science, authority and vaccination – an alarmingly large percentage of people, relatively speaking."
"We still have a lot of work to do to educate the public about a possible vaccine," said Fauci. "It will not be easy."
According to a June CNN survey, about a third of Americans would not get a coronavirus vaccine if one were developed and distributed at low cost.
Herd immunity is only achieved if "a sufficient proportion of the population is immune to an infectious disease (through vaccination and / or previous illness) to make it unlikely to spread from person to person," the CDC said.
Watch the whole interview here: