This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDIANAPOLIS – The nation’s leading infectious disease expert spoke one-on-one with FOX59’s Dan Spehler this week, as health officials and the White House celebrate a key milestone with every American 16 and up eligible as of Monday to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We’re getting it out to more people,” said Fauci. “Today is really an important day.”

But in the short term, many questions still remain about the decision to pause the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and the impact that’s having on supply and demand. This past weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the mass vaccination clinic no longer required an appointment.

We asked Fauci if the decision to pause J & J had a more detrimental impact than he had anticipated.

“You could see how that might happen,” said Fauci. “(But) if you think about it, it really should confirm and underscore how safe vaccines are because the same monitoring system that picked up the very rare events has picked up nothing of concern into the other 200 million doses that have been given.”

Fauci and other health officials have said a decision on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine could come by the end of the week. In the meantime, he said it’s crucial we continue to vaccinate Americans at a brisk pace.

“The more people we get vaccinated every single day, if we can keep that up, there will be a turning around you will see,” Fauci said. “Right now we’re still seeing a number of infections per day.”

We also asked Fauci why Indiana was lagging other states in terms of percentage of population vaccinated, and if he felt it was a mistake for Gov. Holcomb to drop the state’s mask mandate.

“I don’t want to point fingers, except to say we do not want to declare victory prematurely,
said Fauci. “We all want to get back to normality and the best way to do that is to get vaccinated.”

You can see more of our interview with Dr. Fauci on this week’s edition of IN Focus which airs Sunday morning at 9:30 on FOX59.