Dr. Francis Collins
, director of the National Institutes of Health
, issued a stern warning to those who have yet to receive the COVID-19 vaccine
“This virus is looking for you,” Collins, the NIH director since 2009, said on MSNBC
’s “All In with Chris Hayes
With the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant
infections are once again on the rise across the country, but 99.5% of COVID-19 deaths
in the United States
are now among the unvaccinated.
Collins did not buy some people
's reluctance to get vaccinated because the Food and Drug Administration
has authorized but not yet formally approved the shots (read here to understand the difference and why the shots are still safe).
“Come on folks, if this is the reason you are still deciding not to get immunized, this is a pretty flimsy one,” he said, adding that “this is definitely the case that these vaccines
have been proven in lots and lots of public data as being safe already, and we really don’t need that full FDA
approval to accept that.”
Collins believes that the spread of the delta variant and rising case numbers will have little effect on those who have received all of their vaccinations
“But if you are unvaccinated, this virus is looking for you, and this appears to be the moment for everyone to hit the reset button, if they have been hesitant to get immunized,” he added.
“This is one of the most remarkable scientific achievements that humankind has put together, vaccines that are this safe and effective,” he concluded, adding, “It’s astounding, and I have to say disheartening, that we still have some 85 million Americans who are resistant to taking advantage of this gift.”
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