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Dr. Fauci Says Do This Now To Survive COVID

These are the key strategies for staying healthy.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab
Dr. Anthony Fauci

COVID-19 cases might be declining nationwide while vaccination rates are climbing, but the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, isn't popping any champagne corks yet. Faced with the threat of several new coronavirus variants, and the fact that we're "certainly not near" herd immunity, as Fauci said Monday, he's advising Americans to double down on public health measures and to avoid making certain mistakes when it's time to be vaccinated. Read on to find out what, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

1

Don't Wait to Get the Vaccine

Young woman taking a vaccine from her doctor.
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If you're eligible to be vaccinated, putting off the appointment is a bad idea, Fauci said during a Q&A with WTOP News on Monday. "You're putting yourself at an extra risk, and that's the reason why we tell people when the vaccine becomes available to you, please take it and don't wait," he said.

2

Don't Delay Your Second Dose of the Vaccine

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Some experts have recommended that more of the nation's vaccine supply be given as first doses and that reserved second doses could safely be delayed. Dr. Fauci dismissed that on Sunday's Meet the Press, urging Americans to get their second vaccine doses on schedule. 

"What we have right now, and what we must go with, is the scientific data that we've accumulated. And it's really solid," said Fauci. "You can do both. You can get as many people in their first dose at the same time as adhering, within reason, to the timetable of the second dose." Fauci said that "sub-optimal efficacy" caused by delaying second doses could give the coronavirus more chances to mutate and become vaccine-resistant.

3

Wear Your Mask

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Last week, Fauci said the CDC is studying the efficacy of double-masking and might recommend that in the future. But in the meantime, just make sure you're wearing one. "The CDC does not recommend that you must wear two masks, nor does the CDC recommend that you have to wear an N95 mask," said Fauci in a CNN interview late last month. "They just say the most important thing is get everybody to wear a mask."

And Fauci tweeted this week that you should keep wearing a mask even after you're vaccinated. "Currently, we do not have enough data to be able to say with confidence that the vaccines can prevent transmission. So even if vaccinated, you may still be able to spread the virus to vulnerable people. Masks are vital until we learn more & significantly reduce infections," he said.

4

Avoid Gatherings

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Before the Super Bowl, Fauci urged Americans to avoid gathering to watch the game. "Every time we do have something like this, there always is a spike, be it a holiday, Christmas, New Year's, Thanksgiving," said Fauci. "Enjoy the game, watch it on television, but do it with the immediate members of your family, the people in your household." Now that the game's over, his advice still stands—keep a safe social distance and avoid gatherings with people you don't live with.

5

Don't Travel

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You might have cabin fever, but now is not the time to leave the safety of home. During a recent CNN town hall, Fauci said that traveling is "not a good idea… period." And that's whether you've received the vaccine or not.

"Getting vaccinated does not say you have a free pass to travel," he said. "Nor does it say you have a free pass to put aside all the public health measures that we talk about all the time."

6

How to Survive This Pandemic

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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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