Fauci: COVID-19 vaccines effective against Indian variant 

The coronavirus vaccines authorized in the U.S. are effective at combating the strain that is currently ravaging India, top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci said Tuesday.

Public health experts think the B.1.617 variant is likely leading to the massive spike in infections, hospitalizations and deaths in India.

That strain has also been linked to increased cases throughout parts of Europe, and the World Health Organization recently reclassified it as a “variant of concern” — an indication that the variant has the “highest public health implications.”

During a White House briefing Tuesday, Fauci said initial studies indicated the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are “at least partially and probably quite protective” against serious illness, hospitalization and death, “indicating another very strong reason why we should be getting vaccinated.”