Do you want the coronavirus pandemic to ever end? Read this. A new variant, called Delta, threatens to upend progress, as cases rise in the United States. Concerned, 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’s All Things Considered with a warning about how this can affect you, even if you’re already vaccinated. Read on for his five-point warning, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You Have “Long” COVID and May Not Even Know It.
“Well, that is a concern, and that’s the reason why we keep pushing, saying, please, people, if you’re not vaccinated, seriously, consider it,” Fauci said. “It’s so easy to get vaccinated. Viruses don’t mutate if they can’t replicate, and you can prevent them from replicating by vaccinating enough people so that the virus has nowhere to go. If you give the virus free reign to circulate in the community, sooner or later it’s going to mutate. And one of those mutations may be a mutation that makes it a more dangerous virus.”
“Well, from the standpoint of, let’s take the CDC recommendations that if you are fully vaccinated, you have a high degree of protection. So the recommendation remains that you don’t need a mask whether you’re indoors or outdoors if you are fully vaccinated,” he said. “The situation becomes a bit more complicated when you’re in an area where you have two things: a low level of vaccination in the community and a high level of viral dynamics. Under those circumstances, you could understand how some local authorities might say, you know, you might want to make sure you get the extra added benefit of having a mask. Although that is not a CDC recommendation, it is something that some people are considering, particularly the elderly and those who might have an underlying condition — where they’re not absolutely sure that they have an optimal immune response.”
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Is the second dose absolutely essential? “Overwhelmingly, yes, we are seeing that in any study you look at, the level of protection when you follow one dose versus the level of protection following two doses, is dramatically lower. People who feel, ‘Well, I have had one dose, do I really need a second dose?’ — if you have a two-dose regimen, it is absolutely essential that you get your second dose.”
Fauci says the vaccines are protective against the variant. “The answer is yes, it does. If you look at the vaccines that we’ve been using here, and multiple studies from multiple countries show a high degree of efficacy, as you mentioned correctly, especially against severe disease leading to hospitalization. If you look at the effect against just infection itself or mildly symptomatic infection, the levels that we are getting in other studies seem to be substantially higher than the Israeli level of 64%. So what we really need to do before we can really make any determination, is to get a bit more information from our Israeli colleagues, which we’re trying to do.”
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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.