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Dr. Fauci Just Issued This Serious Warning

"The more people that get infected, the more people get hospitalized."
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

We all wish the coronavirus wouldn't get in the way of the holidays—in fact, we all wish it would just go away. The virus has other plans. Cases are rising quickly nationwide—in some states, the pandemic is worse than it was last winter, before we had vaccines. To keep you safe, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on This Week with Martha Raddatz. Read on for five life-saving pieces of advice—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Dr. Fauci Warned Delta is Still "Highly, Highly Transmissible"

Woman with face mask sneezing into elbow while sitting in a cafe.

How could there be so many cases and deaths when we now have vaccines—in some states, even more than last year? "We're dealing with a Delta variant right now, which is very, very different from the original variants that we were dealing with before," warned Fauci. "This is a virus that is highly, highly transmissible. I mean, no doubt about that. The more people that get infected, the more people get hospitalized. The more people they get hospitalized, the more people that are going to die. This just gets us back to the message that we're talking about. What we have this year, what we didn't have last year, is we now have vaccines that are highly effective and clearly very safe, particularly now with the recent data, showing that we can vaccinate children from five to 11. And it's really important to point out if you get the children at that age group. And there were 28 million children within that age category, if we start vaccinating them, now they'll be fully protected by Christmas. That would really be something that's very good. And that's the reason why we're encouraging parents to get children within that age group vaccinated."

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Dr. Fauci Said Get Boosted if You're Eligible; the Vaccine's Immunity Wanes

Doctor holding syringe in hospital.

The CDC just recommended boosters for every adult over 18 years old. "The data became very, very clear," said Dr. Fauci. "We were looking at data when I was saying that I really felt very strongly that we should be getting boosters to everyone. The data was coming from mostly from Israel and other countries. But now that you look at the data, as it's evolved in the United States is very clear. They wanted to make sure that the safety signals were right. And once that became very clear right now, very, very, I'm very pleased that we're in a situation where there's no, there's no confusion. There's no lack of clarity that if you've been vaccinated with a primary vaccination, with an mRNA vaccine, either the Pfizer or the Moderna, six months or more ago, get boosted. And the same with regard to J&J—if you were vaccinated two months ago, get boosted. And that's really now clear. There's no ambiguity about that. And we really hope that people go out there and utilize this very important tool to optimize their status with regard to protection."

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Dr. Fauci Said Here's How to Stay Safe During the Holidays

grandmother carrying turkey for family on thanksgiving dinner

"If you're vaccinated and hopefully you'll be boosted too, and your family is, you can enjoy a typical Thanksgiving meal, Thanksgiving holiday with your family. There's no reason not to do that. The thing we are concerned about is the people who are not vaccinated, because what they're doing is they're the major source of the dynamics of the infection in the community and the higher, the level of dynamics of infection. The more everyone is at risk, but if you're vaccinated, you look at the data. Martha, it's absolutely clear the likelihood of getting infected, getting hospitalized or dying. If you're vaccinated versus non-vaccinated weighs very, very heavily in the protection of people who are vaccinated."

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Dr. Fauci Said We May Need More Boosters—Or Not. He'll Follow the Science

Glass bottle with logo Pfizer and BioNTech in the doctor's hand.

Might we need boosters every year, as the head of Pfizer said recently? Or every six months? Or never again? "This is something that we're looking at very carefully," said Dr. Fauci. "That third shot with the mRNA not only boosts you way up, but increases the durability so that you will not necessarily need it every six months or a year. We're hoping it pushes it out more. If it doesn't and the data show, we do need it more often, then we'll do it, but we want to make sure you get the population optimally protected, and you do whatever you need to do to make sure you do that. My hope as an immunologist, as an infectious disease person, that maturation of the response increasing its strength and power will be followed by a greater durability. That's what I'm hoping for. If it doesn't happen, we'll act accordingly."

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How to Stay Safe Out There

Brunette woman wearing a KN95 FPP2 mask.

Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek
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