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Virus Expert Just Said What is Going to Happen in America

Here's what the next few months may look like.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Coronavirus cases are no longer declining, and the timing couldn't be worse, with the holidays approaching. Meanwhile, 65 million or so Americans are still unvaccinated—and many of them may never want to get the shot. What is next, then, for our divided country? Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, appeared on New Day this morning to offer a peek at what hat America may look like going forward. 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.


Virus Expert Says Here is What May Happen in America in the Next Few Months

Thanksgiving Celebration Tradition Family Dinner

CNN's John Berman started with a great question: "Cases are at best static, perhaps creeping up a little bit in the country. Vaccination rates are going up, but at this point, I don't think tens and tens of millions of more adults are going to get vaccinated if they haven't been vaccinated. More kids might get vaccinated. I also don't think more people are going to start wearing masks in more places than they are." So—what happens in America next?

"So the other big thing that's about to happen is Thanksgiving and the holidays where people travel, people get together with each other and we know what happened last year," said Dr. Jha. "We saw big spikes in cases right after the holidays. So that's what I am worried about is I look out to the next few weeks, and what's going to happen is in families that are fully vaccinated, I think things will go reasonably well and it'll be safe. In places where you're going to have people were unvaccinated, getting together, people are gonna get infected—for instance, in the Northern half of the country where the weather has gotten colder, I'm very worried about what's gonna happen over the next six weeks. And, and obviously all of it at this point is preventable. There's no good reason why people need to be getting sick and hospitalized, die." Keep reading to hear his warning about breakthrough infections.


Virus Expert Warns Breakthrough Infections are "Real" and "Not Rare"

Woman Checking Her Temperature in Bed

"When I said it'll be largely among non-vaccinated people, that's true, but unvaccinated people were infected will then give it to vaccine people who will have breakthroughs. And most breakthroughs will be mild, but especially for higher risk individuals, older people, people with chronic diseases, those breakthroughs can be quite serious. And that's why I think people need boosters, certainly to protect themselves, but also just to prevent getting infected. So they don't give it to other people who are vulnerable. Breakthrough infections are real. They're not rare. And for some people they can be quite serious."

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Virus Expert Warns Breakthrough Infections Can Be Serious for These People

Infected patient in quarantine lying in bed in hospital.

"People who are immunocompromised, people who are older people with chronic diseases—there are a lot of Americans who are at risk of having a bad outcome. If they have a breakthrough infection, you know, I think we've minimized the costs of breakthrough infections for young, healthy people. Breakthrough infections tend to be very, very mild, but for elderly people, for people with chronic diseases, breakthrough infections can be serious." So be careful out there and get vaccinated or a booster if that describes you.

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Virus Expert Believes You Should Get a Booster Once They are Recommended for Your Age Group

Hand of doctor holding syringe and vaccine

"All adults would benefit from a boost for six months after their second shot," said Jha. "Now obviously, FDA, CDC have a process. I think they should go through that process quickly and make their recommendations. But for me, the evidence is leaning pretty heavily towards making vaccine boosters available for all adults over 18, as long as they're six months out from their second shot."

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How to Stay Safe Out There


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