Vaccinations are 'end game' to COVID-19 crisis in India: Fauci

George Stephanopoulos interviews Dr. Anthony Fauci on "This Week."
9:14 | 05/09/21

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Transcript for Vaccinations are 'end game' to COVID-19 crisis in India: Fauci
vaccinate its population, George. Maggie Rulli on the scene. Let's bring in Anthony Fauci. Thanks for joining us again this morning. You just heard Maggie Rulli right there. I know that president Biden has pledged to send vaccines to India, and transport of ppe and oxygen. What more can be done right now? Well, right now there have to be several things. One from within the country, and I have been speaking with some of them right now actually over the last couple of days. You know, they've really got to get hospital beds and do really what the Chinese did way back a year or so ago. They essentially built up the equivalent of field hospitals. You can't have people on the street not having a hospital bed. The oxygen situation is something that was really critical. I mean, to have people not have oxygen is really tragic, what's going on over there, but the end game of this all, George, is going to be to get people vaccinated. As you said on the piece just a moment ago, that India is the largest vaccine producing country in the world. They have to get their resources not only from within, but also from without, and that's the reason why other countries need to chip in to be able to get either supplies for the Indians to make their own vaccines, or to get vaccines donated. One of the ways to do that is to get the companies that have the capability of making vaccines to really scale up in a great way to get literally hundreds of millions of doses to be able to get to them. So there's an immediate problem which is hospital beds, oxygen, ppe and other supplies, and then there's the problem looking forward of how you're going to shut this down. How are you going to turn it how are you going to break the chain of transmission? Vaccines is one of them, but there are other ways too like shutting down the government. I have advised them in the past that you really need to do that. You've got to shut down. I believe several of the Indian states have already done that, but you need to break the chain of transmission, and one of the ways to do that is to shut down. As you know, the long-term solution is vaccines, but it's not just India. Africa has vaccinated only 1% of its population compared to more than 40% here. The head of the world health organization is calling the distribution of the vaccine a moral outreach. You said the companies should be scaling up, but many of those companies say Biden's plan to have the waivers is going to prevent them, and hamper the supply chain and actually set back the vaccine production effort. Yeah. I don't think that's the case, George. They can scale up. You know, they've done an extraordinary amount. You've got to give them credit. They really just have done something that's really quite impressive in the way they've gotten their vaccine supply up and out for the rest of the world. They can scale up more. I think the waiving of the patents and the trips is not going to necessarily interfere with that right now. Meantime here at home, the vaccine demand is dropping sharply turning down doses across the country. We seem to be bumping up against the limits of Americans willing and eager to get the vaccines. He do we convince the holdouts? Well, you know, it's a smaller group, George. You're absolutely correct, that seem to be unwilling. There are two major ways we can address that problem. One is to get trusted messengers, people who they trust, to get to them to convince them why it's those messengers can be anything from sports figures to entertainment figures to clergy or even to their family doctor to explain and convince them why it's important for their own health, for that of their family, and for the community in general, but the other way is what we're doing, is to make it extremely easy for people to get vaccinated. I mean, typical example is that now we have 40,000 pharmacies where you can actually just walk in, no computer, no online, no appointment, just walk in and get vaccinated as well as mobile units that are going out. So those are the two major ways I believe we can just get into that group that really seems to be recalcitrant to getting vaccinated. Also making the benefits of the vaccine very tangible. You have had Scott Gottlieb say pit's time to start relaxing the indoor mask mandates. Is he right? No, I think so, and I think you'll probably see that as we go along, and as more people get vaccinated. The CDC will be almost in realtime, George, updating their recommendations and their guidelines, but yes. We do need to tart being more liberal as people get more vaccinated, and the number of cases per day will absolutely go down. We're averaging about 43,000 a day. We've got to get it much, much lower than that. When that gets lower, the risk of any infection, indoor or outdoor diminishes dramatically. Finally as you know, it's mother's day, and there are lots of questions out there about the safety for pregnant women and women trying to have kids. What's your message to them? Well, if you look at the data, George, there doesn't seem to be a problem at all. There have literally been tens and tens of thousands of women who are pregnant and have gotten vaccinated. There are no red flags and nothing that looks like there's going to be any problem. I think that's something that we really don't need to worry about that much. It looks good. Give everyone a sense of what the country is going to look like next mother's day. Well, George, I hope that next mother's day, we're going to see a dramatic difference than what we're seeing right now. I believe that we will be about as close to back to normal as we can, and there's some conditions to that, George. We've got to make sure that we get the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated. When that happens, the virus doesn't really have any place to go. There aren't a lot of vulnerable people around, and where there are not a lot of vulnerable people around, you won't see the

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