Dr. Fauci Just Said How to End Pandemic By Spring
During a weekend in which comedian Bill Maher pronounced the coronavirus pandemic "over," the number of people who have died from it around the world surpassed 5 million. And people are dying every day. How can you stay safe going into winter and next spring? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke with WCCI about just that. Read on for five points of life-saving 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 COVID is Dangerous to Your Kids
Dr. Fauci says please, vaccinate your kids ASAP after the shot for 5 to 11 year olds is approved. "I would have them get vaccinated because even though we know that COVID-19 and children from a statistical standpoint is generally not nearly as serious on a person by person basis, compared to, for example, COVID-19 and an elderly person, or in an adult or in someone with an underlying condition, children's still can get seriously ill," said Dr. Fauci. "Number one, there are after effects, even when you recover, which is called Long COVID and children do play a role in the spread of infection. We know now that children can get infected just as easily as adults. And even though a substantial proportion of children may not have any symptoms they could inadvertently and innocently spread the infection within the household, perhaps to a vulnerable member of the household. So there are a lot of good reasons why you have a highly effective vaccine and you now are in the middle of an outbreak that even though it's going down still we're averaging 70,000 cases per day. A lot of good reasons why one should feel very much disposed to getting their children vaccinated."
Dr. Fauci Says Kids Getting Vaccinated Will Help Control the Outbreak
"Well, there are 28 million children between the ages of five and 11. You know, we have about 330 million people in this country. That's not a small proportion when you add that to the others. So I don't think it's going to be the game changer, but I think it would contribute to our getting better control over the outbreak."
Dr. Fauci Says This is Why Breakthrough Infections are Happening
Why are breakthrough infections happening? "Well, I think it's a reflection of a couple of things," said Fauci. "The more people that you get vaccinated, which is a good sign for the region, that's has a high level. When there are breakthrough infections, the more people are going to wind up getting infected. And a certain proportion of the breakthrough infections are going to be people who wind up significantly ill enough to require hospitalizations, which really gets to the point that I believe you're referring to that there is this issue, particularly in the elderly, particularly people who've had their vaccine eight months or so ago. There is waning immunity that we're seeing in this country. And we also are seeing it even more emphatically in other countries, particularly Israel. And so I believe that is another strong argument for what we've been saying for some time now, where it is probably, if not, definitely a good idea that you get people who are in the category of being eligible to be boosted, to get them boosted."
"Because we do know one thing then when a person does get boosted, the level of antibodies, neutralizing antibodies, which protect you from infection and serious disease dramatically increases," said Dr. Fauci. "And the data that we get, particularly from Israel, because there were about a month or so ahead of us in the dynamics of the outbreak and the distribution of the vaccine in Israel, we see that the diminution in infection and severe disease following the third dose boost."
Dr. Fauci Said This About Spring
Dr. Fauci was asked what next spring might look like. "Well, I'm not going to give a prediction, but I can tell you one thing, we have 64 million people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who have not yet gotten vaccinated. The sooner we get the overwhelming proportion of that population vaccinated soon, we'll be able to return to the type of normality that you're projecting for the spring. It's really up to us to get there. It's really within our power and within our capabilities to do that."
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.