Even a highly effective COVID-19 vaccine may not prevent people from getting infected with coronavirus or spreading it to others, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday.
He also said a vaccine would not mean Americans no longer need to follow public health guidelines to thwart transmission of the virus.
"We have the same issue with influenza," Fauci said. "You can get vaccinated with influenza and you won't get sick, but it won't necessarily prevent you from getting infected – although you won't know you're infected because you'll either get mild or no symptoms.
...You're not going to be completely protected against a degree of infection that you might not even notice that you might be able to spread to others. Which is the reason why the message you may have heard me say over the last couple weeks in the media is that getting vaccinated with a highly efficacious vaccine does not mean that you're going to abandon completely public health measures."
Fauci made the comments during a discussion with an organization called The Hastings Center, which is a bioethics research center.