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Dr. Fauci Says How to Avoid COVID "Danger"

One thing will "crush" the pandemic, the expert said.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

One thing will "crush" the COVID-19 pandemic, and that's for an "overwhelming" number of Americans to get vaccinated against the disease, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, on Friday. "We want you all to get vaccinated for your own protection for that of your family and for your community," said Fauci during a virtual discussion with the Virginia Department of Health. "Until we get the overwhelming majority of the population in this country, and I would say 70% to 85% to get good herd immunity, there still will be the danger lurking in the community about transmitting viruses." Read on to learn more about his warning, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

How to "crush this outbreak"

Because such widespread participation is necessary, Fauci noted the vaccine is not a substitute for current preventative strategies like wearing a face mask and social distancing. "And for that reason, we need to continue to adhere to public health measures until we get this outbreak completely crushed, which I believe is entirely feasible in the context of 2021, likely toward the end of the year," said Fauci. "But I believe strongly that we can do it." 

Fauci and other health officials continue to urge Americans to take the shots as soon as they're eligible. "What we need to do, and this is absolutely critical, if we want to crush this outbreak, we've got to get the overwhelming majority of the United States population to get vaccinated," said Fauci.

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The 80-year-old infectious-disease expert spoke to fears about side effects and allergic reactions, saying he received his first dose of the two-shot vaccine recently and experienced only a minor ache in his arm that disappeared within a day. Fauci noted that some people have experienced allergic reactions to the vaccine, but that is rare—affecting only about 11 people per million doses given—and isolated to people with a previous history of severe allergic reactions. Those people should get the vaccine in a place where they can be monitored and treated for a reaction if necessary, he said. 

The CDC says that a of Jan. 8, 22.1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed, and nearly 6.7 million people have received the first dose. That's significantly behind the Trump administration's original goal of having 20 million people vaccinated by Jan. 1. 

In the last week, the U.S. has set records for daily deaths from coronavirus (more than 4,000) and hospitalizations.

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How to survive this pandemic

As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

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