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Dr. Fauci Says This is the "Only Way" to Stop COVID

Two things need to happen in order for life to return to normal.
FACT CHECKED BY Checkmark Alek Korab
Doctor Anthony Fauci

We are one year into the coronavirus pandemic, and still experiencing the wrath of COVID-19 with a high number of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. While the COVID-19 vaccines are slowly working to improve the situation, their rollout hasn’t been quick as efficient as health experts previously hoped. So, how will we effectively stop COVID once and for all? During an interview with the Harvard Business Review, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, revealed the answer. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

1

These Two Things Need to Happen to Stop COVID

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Fauci suggested the solution is a two-fold situation. “The only way that's going to stop is if you have a combination of a rather substantial universal adherence to the public health measures, instead of fragmentation, but also the proper execution and implementation of the vaccine program,” he explained. 

The public health measures include mask wearing, social distancing, and avoiding group gatherings, he said. Keep reading to see what else must be done.

2

We All Need to Get Vaccinated

Woman with face mask getting vaccinated, coronavirus, covid-19 and vaccination concept.
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Vaccination will require mass participation. “As I said, and I believe this will turn out to be true, is that if we can get 70 to 85% of the population of this country vaccinated, fully vaccinated, and we do it expeditiously over a period of several months, then we will have an umbrella or a cloak, or what have you of herd immunity that would really completely turn around the dynamics of the outbreak,” he said. 

“But we've got to do that,” he continued, explaining that people’s hesitancy to get the vaccine could prevent herd immunity from happening. “We can’t have 30 to 40 to 50% of people reluctant to be vaccinated. We've got to get the overwhelming majority of people vaccinated because when you do that, metaphorically, the virus has no place to go. It looks for susceptibles, but there are no susceptibles, that's the point. There may be some, but they're protected by the overall protection of what we call herd immunity.” 

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Herd Immunity Could Be Achieved By Fall 2021

A woman displays her vaccination card and the “IGotTheShotNYC” banner after exiting the NYC Health Department Vaccine Hub at Hillcrest High School in Queens
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When could herd immunity realistically be achieved? “I believe that we can attain that if we do it well by early to mid-fall,” he asserted. He is confident that with President-Elect Joe Biden’s plans, it “is entirely feasible to get a hundred million people vaccinated in the first hundred days, and then thereafter literally have an open season of vaccine where anybody who wants or needs to get vaccinated would get vaccinated,” he said. 

“If we do that efficiently from April, May, June, July, August, by the time we get to the beginning of the fall, we should have that degree protection that I think can get us back to some form of normality,” he revealed. 

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The Entire World Will Need to Get Vaccinated—Which Might Take Years

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However, it will also be crucial for other countries to follow suit. “But also importantly we've got to do this—we being the global community — we've got to do it on a global scale because if there's an outbreak anywhere, it endangers people anywhere,” he pointed out. “So even though you could have a good degree of protection in your own country, if you really want to get back to a degree of global normality, you really want to get the entire world vaccinated.” Fauci said that might take “a year or two” but said there’s “no guarantee.”

RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci

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How to Survive This Pandemic

Woman and man in social distancing sitting on bench in park
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While Dr. Fauci pointed out that “timelines are always sort of dangerous and precarious when you're dealing with things that are as dynamic as a pandemic,” he noted the importance of focusing on what we can do to end the pandemic, instead of when. “We're dealing with 200,000 to 300,000 new infections a day, we're approaching very soon, 400,000 total deaths and 3,000 to 4,000 deaths per day,” he pointed out. So follow Fauci’s fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, 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.