“This virus is looking for you,” Collins, the director of the NIH since 2009, said on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes.”
Coronavirus infections are again rising nationwide with the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant, but 99.5% of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States are now among the unvaccinated.
Collins didn’t buy some people’s hesitancy to get vaccinated because the Food and Drug Administration has authorized but not yet been formally approved the shots. (Read here to see the difference, and why the shots are still safe).
“Come on folks, if this is the reason that you are still deciding not to get immunized, this is a pretty flimsy one,” he said. “This is definitely the case that these vaccines have been proven in lots and lots of public data as being safe already. We really don’t need that full FDA approval to accept that.”
The fully vaccinated will probably not be really impacted by the spread of the delta variant and rising case numbers, said Collins.
“But if you’re unvaccinated, this virus is looking for you. And this is the moment it seems for everybody to hit their reset button, if they’ve been hesitant about getting immunized,” he added.
“This is one of the most remarkable scientific achievements that humankind has put together, vaccines that are this safe and this effective,” he concluded. “It’s astounding, and I got to say disheartening, that still we have some 85 million Americans who are resistant to taking advantage of this gift.”
Watch the interview here:
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter