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New Vaccine Strategy Could Stop Future Pandemics

Fauci backs idea to create 'prototype' shots for 20 families of viruses
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2021 7:25 AM CDT
New Vaccine Strategy Could Stop Future Pandemics
Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, July 20.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool)

(Newser) – "We're going in the wrong direction." That was Dr. Anthony Fauci's message to the nation Sunday on CNN in regard to COVID. Fauci reiterated what has become a familiar theme among US health officials, describing "a pandemic among the unvaccinated" because of the fast-spreading delta variant. More:

  • Looking ahead: With the COVID fight still ongoing, Fauci is backing a new approach to guard against future pandemics, reports the New York Times. The idea is to make prototype vaccines for about 20 families of viruses so they'd be ready to go should one jump from animals to humans or break out in some other fashion. The idea is expensive, with Fauci estimating its cost at "a few billion dollars" per year. But he thinks it could begin in 2022 and yield its first results in about five years.

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  • Two possible shifts: Fauci said the new surge in cases means the US might soon recommend booster shots for the most vulnerable and revise its mask policy to recommend that the vaccinated begin wearing them again indoors, reports the Washington Post.
  • In praise: Fauci, who described COVID as "in retreat" among the vaccinated, made a point Sunday to praise Republicans who have shifted tone of late and are encouraging people to get vaccinated, reports the Guardian. He singled out Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Rep. Steve Scalise.
  • Tone matters: Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie went on ABC's This Week Sunday and discussed the reluctance among the unvaccinated to get their shots. "What they don't want is to be indoctrinated—they're willing to be vaccinated," he said, per Axios. It's more about persuading than ordering, he added. "It's a libertarian type of response. I sat with this guy and I walked him through the facts, and then he said: 'OK, I'm going to go get vaccinated.' That's what we need to be doing."
(Read more Anthony Fauci stories.)

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