Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said a vaccine is only as effective as the number of people in a community that get it and the vaccine itself must be effective to work.
"I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around", Fauci said. "That would be wonderful if we got there".
"That's one of the reasons why we have to make sure we engage the community as we're doing now to get community people, to help us for people to understand that we are doing everything we can to show that it's safe and that it's effective", Fauci said. Even though 25% to 30% of people who got the vaccine would still be able to be infected by COVID-19, a 70% to 75% effectivity rate would be enough to produce herd immunity in most locales.
He added later, however, that pushback to getting a vaccine - some polls say as many as one-third of Americans would refuse to be vaccinated - could result in a lack of herd immunity. Fauci said Sunday that if those figures hold true and a potential COVID-19 vaccine is only 75% effective, the USA population would not reach the herd immunity threshold that would kill the virus.
Herd immunity is achieved when a sufficient percentage of a population is immune to an infectious disease, either by previous disease or vaccination.
Fauci said the government has a vaccine education program to fight anti-vaccine messages.
"We have a program right now that's going to be extensive in reaching out to the community", he said.
"They may not like a government person in a suit like me to tell them, even if I tell them".
"It won't be easy", said Fauci, a member of the White House task force on the pandemic. They really need to see people they can relate to in the community: sports figures, community heroes, people they admire.
HHS spokesman Michael Caputo did not confirm the existence of a vaccine education campaign, adding in an email that he "would hate to see CNN publish [a] tremendously incorrect story". He explained again that contact tracing is also hindered by asymptomatic people. "So the standard classic paradigm of identification, isolation, contact tracing doesn't work no matter how good you are because you don't know who you're tracing". Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries.