Two doctors with White House COVID Task Force discuss vaccinations in Mississippi

Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Cameron Webb in an exclusive interview discuss importance of vaccinations

Two doctors with White House COVID Task Force discuss vaccinations in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The White House COVID-19 Response team is still working across the country encouraging people to get vaccinations.

Wednesday afternoon in a 3 On Your Side Exclusive, we talked with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Cameron Webb about vaccination efforts in Mississippi and whether we will ever know life again without this pandemic.

Dr. Fauci said, “We are certainly gonna get out of this pandemic. That I will guarantee you.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci is the face most people recognize in the fight against COVID-19. He and Dr. Cameron Webb, who is Senior Policy Advisor COVID-19 Equity for the White House, are helping in the nationwide push to get people vaccinated across the country.

Dr. Fauci said, “When you get a major proportion of the population vaccinated, you’re gonna get a veil of protection over the community that the virus is not going to have any place to go.”

Dr. Webb said, “We’re not gonna use a crystal ball to tell people what might happen. What we know is that if you take this vaccine you’re not gonna die from COVID. If you take this vaccine you’re not going to need to be hospitalized because of COVID. And so if you take this vaccine it very well may save your life and save the lives of people in your family.”

The doctors are working to inform the public about the importance of vaccinations. They are hoping the pause on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will not lead to more confusion and hesitancy.

We asked about the South Mississippi family who says a 43-year-old man who had hypertension, but was healthy, suffered a stroke shortly after getting the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

“Again over 7 million people have been vaccinated and so, you know, these events are really concerning and very troubling and they’re tragic for the individuals who’ve experienced them but that’s why we’re digging in to say, were these in some way connected to the vaccine? And, if they are, how can we get a better sense of who may be at risk or can we get a better sense of how to make sure the vaccines that are available remain safe for folks?” Dr. Webb said.

Both also say efforts continue to make sure vaccinations are available for those who live in rural areas and for African Americans.

Dr. Fauci said, “The CDC has been given 3 billion dollars to do just that. To make sure that we get out there in the community. That there’s equity. That the community vaccine centers are up and running, that the federally qualified health centers are running.”

Dr. Webb and Dr. Fauci agree the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been effective against highly contagious strains.

Dr. Webb said, “And we’re trying to stay one step ahead. So right now if everyone were to get vaccinated we would be able to crush this virus with the current variants that are circulating. If we take too long, if we let the virus continue to spread, continue to replicate, it might keep morphing. So we’re in a true race against these variants. This is an important moment for us to lean in and do what’s in the best interests of our communities.”

Dr. Fauci and Dr. Webb also respond to a viewer’s question of whether the vaccination will be needed every six months or yearly. They say there may be a need for it not every six months but every year or two.

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