Dr. Fauci Just Issued This "Danger"-Filled Warning
You've been told there's a "light at the end of the tunnel" for when this coronavirus pandemic will end, and yet no exact end appears within sight. There's vaccine hesitancy, the headlines say. Herd immunity is hard to pin down. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke yesterday at the "A Look Back, a Path Forward: A Town Hall Event," presented by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and gave some definitive answers about when we might be able to move on. Read on for 6 essential points that can save your life—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.
Dr. Fauci Warns of the "Danger" of Rising Cases—and Hopes for Turning Point
Is herd immunity achievable? Even though there is some vaccine hesitancy? "I do think it is," said Dr. Fauci, "but I tend to want to make sure people don't get fixated on this mystical number—which we don't know what it is—of herd immunity and focus much more on the fact that we are in…a metaphorical race between the implementation of vaccinations, which we're doing very well…and the fact that even" with so many people being vaccinated, "we are still in a very precarious place with regard to viral dynamics. We now have a seven day average of about 60,000 new cases per day, which when you look at the danger of a possible surge, particularly given the fact that the dominant variant right now, the B 1.1.7. clearly has a greater capability of spreading—we really need to get people vaccinated as quickly and as expeditiously as we can. And if we can get 3 million people a day vaccinated, literally, within a period of a few weeks, we're going to start to see a turning around of the dynamics."
Dr. Fauci Said "Classic Measles-Like Herd Immunity" Will Be a Ways Off
"If you're waiting for classic measles like herd immunity, that's going to be a while before we get there," said Dr. Fauci. "But that doesn't mean we're not going to have a significant diminution in the number of infections per day, and a significant diminution in all the other parameters, namely hospitalizations and deaths before we actually reached herd immunity. So whatever that number turns out to be—which is a combination of the protection from the vaccine, as well as the protection of those who've been infected, have recovered, that now have essentially immunity related to infection."
Dr. Fauci Said the Herd Immunity Number is a "Moving Target"
"The reason why I want to shy away from a magical number is because several aspects of that are really moving targets. For example, we don't know what the durability of the infection induced immunity is. We don't know if someone who got infected last winter, or in the early part of 2020, is going to be safe from the standpoint of being protected now," said Dr. Fauci. "So why don't we put that aside and say, we need to put a full court press on getting as many people vaccinated as we can. If you look at them that the curve is real, it's a really interesting curve where the infections were going up, but the number of vaccines were going up. And then at around 60% of the population being vaccinated, the lines crossed, the infections went way down and the vaccines keep going up. So we just need to strive for as many people as possible to get vaccinated as quickly as we possibly can."
Dr. Fauci Said Advice on Masks is About to Change
"I can safely say that really, really soon, we're going to be seeing some guidelines that are going to be coming out from the CDC about the wearing of masks in vaccinated versus unvaccinated individuals," said Dr. Fauci. In fact, this news is expected tomorrow, according to reports. "As you know, the CDC is a science-based organization and they make their recommendations based on the data that they can accumulate or modeling or adjust, you know, common sense public health measures. And obviously everyone is asking the question, that the risk of infection outside is really minimum. If you're vaccinated and you're outside, it's even less. So what we're going to be doing through the CDC is soon, very soon, clarifying the situation vis-a-vis masks in vaccinated versus unvaccinated people. So stay tuned, that's coming."
Dr. Fauci Said the Pandemic Won't End This Year
Will the pandemic end in 2021? "I believe we will approach a very strong degree of normality by the time we get to the end of the year," he answered. The word "pandemic', he added, has "a global connotation. It will not end globally this year, for sure. And I think that's because of…the inequities of the availability of vaccines, to be able to end it, we'll have developed nations like ourselves, the European Union countries, Canada, Australia, et cetera—we'll have an approach towards, but not complete arrival of normality, but there will always be the threat that you will get variants from those areas of the world in which there are still viral dynamic. So it's not a quick, simple answer to your question because we live in a large, complicated planet that has a lot of inequities."
How to Stay Safe During This Pandemic
Follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, 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, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, 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.