If You Extend Intervals Between The Vaccine Doses, You May Become Vulnerable To Variants: Dr Anthony Fauci To NDTV

If You Extend Intervals Between The Vaccine Doses, You May Become Vulnerable To Variants: Dr Anthony Fauci To NDTV

President Joe Biden, at the G7, announced that the United States will be giving 500 million doses of vaccines to other low and middle-income countries, which is the largest donation of vaccines in history: Dr Anthony Fauci to NDTV
The most important thing for everyone is to get as many vaccines into people’s arms as quickly as you possibly can: Dr Anthony FauciThe most important thing for everyone is to get as many vaccines into people’s arms as quickly as you possibly can: Dr Anthony Fauci

New Delhi: US seems to have successfully bend the curve of COVID-19 cases significantly, with a high rate of vaccination, as per US’ top Covid expert, Dr Anthony Stephen Fauci. Dr Fauci spoke to NDTV on the coronavirus situation in India and the United States. Dr Fauci shared his views on the effectiveness of vaccines, the severity of the Delta variant, and the overall Covid situation in general.

NDTV: When you look at the world, and you look at India and US, and the curve of the virus, what are you seeing? What gives you hope and what worries you?

Dr Anthony Fauci: In America, things are going extremely well, after the very difficult time we had last fall and winter. The number of cases are going down considerably, we went from a daily average of 60,000 fresh cases to well below 20,000 a day. The good news is that we are doing very well with the implementation of vaccines. About 52 per cent of our adult population is fully vaccinated and about 64 per cent of our adult population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The rest of the world really depends upon what country we are talking about. Some countries are doing well, the UK is now facing a problem with the 617 Delta variant. The variant that is dominant in India, is now becoming dominant in the UK, so even though they have done very well with their vaccine program, they are concerned about the reemergence of variant 617.

India had gotten hit really bad, as we all know, but the cases are starting to come down at least in certain states. So it really is a mixed bag, some countries are doing well, some countries, for example in South America, are facing difficulties. The most important thing for everyone is to get as many vaccines into people’s arms as quickly as you possibly can. And that’s the thing that is going to ultimately control the outbreak. It is going to be vaccination, so we have got to get people all over the world vaccinated. President Joe Biden yesterday, at the G7, announced that the United States will be giving 500 million doses of vaccines to other low and middle-income countries. Which is the largest donation of vaccines in history.

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NDTV: You and President Biden have both flagged that the Delta variant, one of the two variants that originated in India, is also now present in the US. There was a 6 per cent trace, that you found. How worried are you about it and what exactly are you seeing in terms of its infectivity?

Dr Anthony Fauci: The problem is, that the Delta variant, which is rather dominant in many states of India, is the one that spreads much more rapidly and much more efficiently from person to person. So any country that has Delta variant, should be concerned that there would be a surge of infections, particularly that particular country doesn’t have a substantial proportion of their population vaccinated. We have seen that when Delta variant spreads among non-vaccinated people, it can become dominant very quickly. That’s exactly what is going on in the UK, that the Delta variant is taking over, it is close to 90 per cent dominant right now while in the US, it is only 6 per cent. This is the reason why I have been pushing very hard to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

NDTV: In terms of the effectiveness of the existing vaccines against the virus and the emerging variants, what exactly are we seeing in this regard?

Dr Anthony Fauci: Fortunately, the vaccines that are being used in the US, and in many other countries, do reasonably well. They also do quite well against the Alpha variant. A slight moderate diminishing in efficacy has been observed against the Delta variant, however, not so much that you need to worry about it. So, the mRNA vaccines are about 88-90 per cent effective against the Delta variant and about 100 per cent effective against severe disease from them. So, those vaccines seem to be doing reasonably well.

NDTV: Are you in touch with the community here in India, or the government, about the Delta variant?

Dr Anthony Fauci: I have been in discussions with the Ambassador of India to the US, who will be putting me into contact with some of the scientists in India. We have had zoom interactions with a number of scientists, and we have a really good relationship scientifically. I hope as we further, we can go even further in our interactions.

NDTV: What is your take on the possibility of the Third wave of COVID-19 in India?

Dr Anthony Fauci: The occurrence of a third wave is totally linked to vaccination. It is absolutely critical to get as many people as possible, as quickly you can. If you have a country, in which a relatively small proportion of the population is vaccinated, you are vulnerable to the successive waves. We have seen that in the United States, we have had three major waves here and the last one was the most serious one, where we were up to 3,00,000 cases a day and over 3,000 cases per day. There was a period of time, in the late fall and early winter of 2020 and 2021, that we were doing really badly. Now that we have vaccines, we have been able to turn that around.

Also Read: Delta Variant Doubles Risk Of COVID-19 Hospitalisation: Scottish Study

NDTV: Should recovered patients get vaccines? Also, what is the ideal time between the two doses of the vaccine?

Dr Anthony Fauci: The Centre of Disease Control in the US recommends that even though you have been infected, you should still get vaccinated. Because vaccines induce a very powerful immune response, and we are still not completely sure of the durability of the protection after the natural infection.

The ideal interval between doses for mRNA vaccines should be 3 weeks for Pfizer and 4 weeks for Moderna. One of the problems with extending the duration is that you become vulnerable to the variants. And we have seen that in the UK, where they have extended the duration between the doses, that in the period of time, you can become vulnerable to the variants. However, if you have a sort supply of vaccine, it may be necessary to extend this interval.

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

19,89,21,889Cases
6,44,02,340Active
13,02,83,678Recovered
42,35,871Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,89,21,889 and 42,35,871 have died; 6,44,02,340 are active cases and 13,02,83,678 have recovered as on August 3, 2021 at 3:55 am.

India

3,17,26,507 30,549Cases
4,04,9588,760Active
3,08,96,354 38,887Recovered
4,25,195 422Deaths
In India, there are 3,17,26,507 confirmed cases including 4,25,195 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,04,958 and 3,08,96,354 have recovered as on August 3, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

63,15,063 4,869

78,700 3,650

61,03,325 8,429

1,33,038 90

Kerala

34,25,473 13,984

1,65,834 2,057

32,42,684 15,923

16,955 118

Karnataka

29,08,284 1,285

24,045 123

28,47,627 1,383

36,612 25

Tamil Nadu

25,63,544 1,957

20,385 139

25,09,029 2,068

34,130 28

Andhra Pradesh

19,70,008 1,546

20,582 437

19,36,016 1,968

13,410 15

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,500 24

646 18

16,85,091 42

22,763

West Bengal

15,29,295 575

10,803 171

15,00,331 734

18,161 12

Delhi

14,36,401 51

538 44

14,10,809 95

25,054

Chhattisgarh

10,02,458 236

1,918 1

9,87,012 234

13,528 3

Odisha

9,79,737 1,032

13,318 820

9,60,386 1,785

6,033 67

Rajasthan

9,53,704 16

241 9

9,44,509 25

8,954

Gujarat

8,24,922 22

251 3

8,14,595 25

10,076

Madhya Pradesh

7,91,862 17

132 7

7,81,217 10

10,513

Haryana

7,69,956 14

703 12

7,59,614 25

9,639 1

Bihar

7,24,917 37

401 34

7,14,872 71

9,644

Telangana

6,45,997 591

8,819 54

6,33,371 643

3,807 2

Punjab

5,99,162 32

473 31

5,82,395 63

16,294

Assam

5,68,257 1,275

12,429 213

5,50,534 1,469

5,294 19

Jharkhand

3,47,223 23

239 15

3,41,855 38

5,129

Uttarakhand

3,42,198 37

574 35

3,34,261 71

7,363 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,725 118

1,254 43

3,16,090 73

4,381 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,06,369 208

1,304 75

2,01,543 132

3,522 1

Goa

1,71,295 90

1,027 16

1,67,118 72

3,150 2

Puducherry

1,21,059 54

944 38

1,18,320 92

1,795

Manipur

99,872 541

9,814 591

88,480 1,120

1,578 12

Tripura

79,026 304

3,104 12

75,167 292

755

Meghalaya

65,939 350

5,843 200

58,987 537

1,109 13

Chandigarh

61,960 6

33 3

61,116 3

811

Arunachal Pradesh

48,565 305

3,508 167

44,823 469

234 3

Mizoram

40,111 748

12,316 127

27,642 618

153 3

Nagaland

28,004 59

1,300 44

26,130 99

574 4

Sikkim

26,880 126

3,323 131

23,211 256

346 1

Ladakh

20,345 5

57 0

20,081 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,650

15 9

10,631 9

4

Lakshadweep

10,207 12

79 4

10,078 8

50

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,539

6 1

7,404 1

129

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