The good news: Fifty percent of Americans have gotten one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The worrying news: A sizeable portion of the other half may not want to get vaccinated at all. If that happens, when will we reach herd immunity and be able to live without being in fear of getting sick? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on NPR this morning to discuss just that. Read on for his 5 key takeaways—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss this urgent news: Here's How You Can Catch COVID Even If You're Vaccinated.
Dr. Fauci Says Everyone May Be Vaccinated by July
So "now that every adult is eligible, what is the best case timeline for everyone to be vaccinated?" asked the NPR host. "Well, we are hoping that we get there by July," answered Dr. Fauci, "by the end of May, there will be enough vaccines to vaccinate anyone who would want to be vaccinated. And from a logistics standpoint, getting into people's arms, we hope we do it sooner, but no later than July." However, keep reading—there may be some hurdles.
Will the J&J Pause Affect the Vaccine Distribution? No, Says Dr. Fauci.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was paused due to blood clots in six women. However, "if you look at the Moderna and the Pfizer commitment, this interval now where we're not having J&J, Pfizer itself has said that they are going to increase the availability of their doses by 10%. So already, it's making up for that. We don't know what's going to happen with J&J—by Friday, we should have an answer, and then we should just get back on track. So we have no doubt that we'll be able to vaccinate anyone who wants to be vaccinated by that time."
Dr. Fauci Said Please Don't Be Skeptical of the Vaccine, Even After the J&J Pause
Dr. Fauci called the possible vaccine-related blood clots "very rare adverse events. I mean, the one that triggered the pause was six out of about 7 million, which is very, very rare. So what that tells me, and I try to communicate to people is, that that means the system is working. And if you're hesitant about vaccine, because you're concerned about safety, this tells you that safety is taking very seriously. And also the same surveillance system that picked up those six young women who wound up with those complications is the same surveillance system that's used for the tens and tens and tens of millions of doses, but Moderna and Pfizer. So when the FDA and the CDC say something is safe, you can be sure it's safe."
Dr. Fauci Said This Idea of "Herd Immunity" is An Elusive One, So Stop Watching the Clock
"You gotta be careful because that's kind of an elusive terminology," Dr. Fauci said of "herd immunity." "You get as many people vaccinated as you possibly can, and you can turn around the dynamics of the outbreak. So we don't want to get stuck on this type of a terminology. It's important, but we can go a long way before we get there." He said America will be safer if we can get as many people vaccinated as possible.
How to Get Through the Rest of This Pandemic Without Getting COVID
So 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.