Skip to content

Dr. Fauci Just Said Something Every American Should Hear

Listen to what the nation's top infectious-disease expert has to say.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Right now, the CDC recommends that people over age 50 or who are immunocompromised get a second booster of the COVID vaccine. But what about everyone else? During testimony before a House budget panel on Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease expert, talked about why second boosters are important for certain groups, and how long it may be before everyone is advised to get one. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Vaccination Still Important

Woman in medical protective mask getting injection in arm vaccination.

"If you look at the hospitalizations and the deaths of those who are unvaccinated compared to those who are vaccinated and boosted, the data are stunning, they're striking, the difference," said Fauci. 


Boosters Are Needed

Woman getting COVID-19 vaccine shot.

"In the era of Omicon, it is very clear that a boost is needed, a third shot," said Fauci. "If you look at both the durability of protection, there's no doubt—not only to natural infection from which you recover, but also from vaccination over a period of time—there's a waning of immunity." 

"Other countries like Israel have really good data that when you get X number of months out, even from the third shot, you then get an increased risk, particularly among the elderly, and particularly among those with underlying conditions, of hospitalizations and death." 


Who Should Get Boosted?

Doctor holding syringe in hospital.

"The FDA and the CDC have said that people 50 years of age or older, are eligible for a fourth shot of an mRNA vaccine, not only the third boost, but the fourth shot right now," said Fauci.

Those recommendations may expand this fall. "The advisory committee to the FDA met and are looking at what the recommendations are going to be as we get to the fall, namely, what's going to happen when we get to September and October," he said. "It is very likely that all of us who've been vaccinated will have a diminution of the level of protection after a certain number of months. And it is likely that there will be recommended for everyone to get a boost then." 


What About After That?

A woman displays her vaccination card and the

"Does that got to be every year, the way we do with flu? We don't know that right now," said Fauci. "Because of the fact that we're having different variants. But right now we're in an Omicron era, and the vaccines that we all got work pretty well … I think sometime in the middle of the summer, we're going to know what the cadence is going to be about how often we're going to have to vaccinate people." 


How to Stay Safe Out There


Follow the 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.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor. Read more about Michael