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Dr. Fauci Just Issued Essential Pandemic Update

With retirement on the horizon, Dr. Fauci isn’t holding back.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is warning of "pandemic fatigue" and what the future holds for COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters. "We're in a pattern now. If somebody says, 'You'll leave when we don't have Covid anymore,' then I will be 105. I think we're going to be living with this," says Dr. Fauci. Here's what he thinks will happen next. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


A Yearly Booster Will Become the Norm

Nurse with face mask sitting at home with senior woman and injecting covid 19 vaccine.

Dr. Fauci hopes there will be just one vaccination a year for COVID, much like the seasonal shot for flu. "I think, although I don't know for sure, [that] over the next cycle or so, we'll be getting towards a once a year boost, like flu."


Don't Assume the Pandemic Is Over

Woman getting vaccinated.

COVID fatigue is real—but now is not the time to get complacent, Dr. Fauci warns. "It's becoming more and more difficult to get people to listen, because even the people who are compliant want this behind them. What I try to convince them [of], with my communication method, is we're not asking you to dramatically alter your lifestyle. We're not asking you to really interfere with what you do with your life. We're just asking you to consider some simple, doable mitigation methods."


Vaccinations For Specific Variants

Happy vaccinated woman gesturing thumbs up.

Dr. Fauci says it's "not impossible, but more difficult" to develop vaccines for specific COVID-19 subvariants, due to the speed at which these strains mutate—and a regular vaccination schedule could take up to two years to develop.


BA.5 Is Evading Immunity

A woman displays her vaccination card and the

Dr. Fauci warns that the BA.5 subvariant is evading immune protection from vaccines and previous infections. "The thing about BA.5 that is disconcerting is that it is able to escape some of the immune protection that you get from prior infection, as well as vaccination," says Dr. Fauci. "The good news is that vaccinated and boosted people—particularly those who received the full component of the boosting—are generally pretty well protected against severe disease leading to hospitalization and unfortunately, in some cases to death. But it is an evading type of a variant because it does evade to a greater extent the protection that you would've gotten from a vaccine. So in other words, it has a transmission advantage over the prior variance. We can in fact do something about that by getting vaccinated, by getting boosted."


Monkeypox Is a Serious Threat

woman showing her itchy back with allergy rash urticaria symptoms

Dr Fauci is expressing alarm about the monkeypox outbreak, warning what we see is just the tip of the iceberg. "This is something we definitely need to take seriously," Dr Fauci says. "We don't know the scope and the potential of it yet, but we have to act like it will have the capability of spreading much more widely than it's spreading right now. Whenever you have the emergence of something like this, you are always probably looking at what might be — might be, we don't know — the tip of the iceberg, so that's the reason why we've got to get the testing out there in a much, much more vigorous way… We're probably detecting just a fraction of the actual cases because we had, for a long time, a very narrow case definition on who got tested and by and large, we're looking in the community of men who have sex with men and at STD clinics. So we're looking there, we're finding cases there, but it's a fact that there's cases outside that community right now. We're not picking them up because we are not looking there."


How to Stay Safe Out There


Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted 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.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more about Ferozan