Watch Dr. Fauci Debunk Some of the Most Rampant COVID-19 Vaccine Conspiracy Theories

Dr. Anthony Fauci has become the face of the pandemic over the last 10 months, with millions of people looking to him for information and guidance on how to protect themselves from coronavirus. In a recent conversation with YouTube’s Try Guys, Fauci addressed the questions and concerns that have been circulating online since the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were announced, including several myths and conspiracy theories that are simply not true.

The first misconception that Fauci tackled was the notion that the vaccine was “rushed” out and therefore might be unsafe in some way. The short answer? No.

“There was no cutting corners, safety was not compromised, scientific integrity was not compromised, and I think people need to understand that the speed was related completely to the breathtaking scientific advances that had been made over the previous 10 or more years,” he said. He also explained that the high number of diagnosed cases of the virus actually helped to expedite the process.

Fauci added that the chance of people suffering long-term side effects of the vaccine is “spectacularly low,” citing historical evidence that side-effects tend to manifest 30 to 45 days after a clinical trial ends, which is why the FDA institutes a 60-day waiting period.

He went on to clarify that even after receiving the first dose of the vaccine, somebody could still be infected. The vaccine might protect them from getting sick, but they could still unknowingly pass the virus onto other people, making masks, social distancing and hand-washing just as important as ever.

“We can pull back on masks when such an overwhelming proportion of the population is vaccinated that there’s herd immunity,” he said, “which means that the level of virus is so low that it’s not a threat.” He suggested that between 70 and 80 percent of the population would need to be vaccinated for this to happen.

And while talk of the new COVID-19 variant has got a lot of people concerned that the vaccine may already be irrelevant, Fauci stated that this is not the case: the mutation makes the virus more transmissible, but not more deadly, and does not negate the benefits of the vaccine.

Watch the full conversation below.

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