Coronavirus cases are rising along with deaths and hospitalizations, as the pandemic ruins not just summer, but threatens to never end. Meanwhile, even some vaccinated people are contracting it, with the Delta variant proving more transmissible. What can you do to stay safe? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on CNBC’s Closing Bell yesterday with a warning. Read on for eight life-saving pieces of advice straight from him—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.
“The fact is that this is a nasty virus,” said Dr. Fauci. “It has the capability of very efficiently spreading from person to person. So six months, a year ago, we were in the situation where we say, we hope we don’t get a variant like that. Unfortunately, we” did. And might we get even worse variants? “Well, there is a very, very important tenant in virology, and that is that viruses don’t mutate, unless you allow them to replicate and spreading the community. You’ll give them ample room, ample time, ample opportunity to mutate and get a new variant. So the easiest and best and most effective way that we can prevent the emergence of a new variant and crush the already existing Delta variant is to get everybody vaccinated. So, as I’ve said before, we have the solution within our grasp. We’ve just got to go for it.” Read on to see what happens if you get infected even after vaccination.
“We are concerned that we are seeing more so-called breakthrough infections. That’s something we obviously don’t want to see, dealing with a highly transmissible virus. This virus is clearly different from the viruses and the variants that we’ve had experience with before. It has an extraordinary capability of transmitting from person to person. Fortunately, if you look at these so-called breakthrough infections, which by definition means infection in someone who has been fully vaccinated, that usually the overwhelmingly vast majority of these infections are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, which is compatible with the fact that it looks very much like the vaccines do continue to protect quite well against hospitalization and death, even against the Delta area.” But that leaves the question of whether you can transmit it to someone who’s unvaccinated—like your kids. Keep reading for what he said about that.
Dr. Fauci was asked if you could transmit COVID after a breakthrough infection. After all, kids under 12 are unvaccinated; are they at even more risk now? “That’s a question that is very appropriate and keeps getting asked over and over again,” said Fauci. “The broad overall CDC recommendation is that if you are vaccinated, you are protected and you don’t need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors, but many local authorities—and I think the prototype example of that is Los Angeles county, which because of the high level of transmission and infection there, they are saying that if you are holding vaccinated, even if you’re vaccinated, it’s suggested that you wear a mask when you are indoors in a situation where you have a level of dynamics of virus in the community that’s high. So I’m not sure exactly where you are or what their dynamics are in the region that you want, but you might want to consider if you want to go the extra mile of safety, even though you’re vaccinated, when you’re indoors, particularly in crowded places, you might want to consider wearing a mask.”
“I don’t believe that we are going to see a central mandate of masking because there will be a lot of pushback on that,” said Dr. Fauci. “And I do think you will be seeing is that there will be local mandating, namely situations like colleges and universities saying, unless you want to be excluded from coming in, you’ve got to get vaccinated or even business enterprises might be saying that I think as the vaccine gets fully approved by the FDA, as opposed to just the emergency use authorization that you are going to see a lot more local mandates. It’s really unfortunate, about people sometimes say, well, it hasn’t been fully approved. The data is so overwhelmingly positive for these vaccines that I would be astounded if they’re not approved. So, you never want to get ahead of the FDA, that’s their decision. But I would imagine that we’re going to see approval of these within a reasonable period of time.”
“I don’t see that on the horizon right now,” he said. “What I do see is increased testing and increased local mandates and a big push to get people vaccinated. The frustrating part about this from a public health standpoint is that we have the tools to stop this. And if we do get more people vaccinated, you are going to start seeing a down tick again in the infections. It’s really quite frustrating. These vaccines work well against this virus, including the Delta variant. We just need to get more and more people vaccinated. And hopefully we’re starting to see perhaps a change in that people be, they people on TV and others, who’ve been saying that they’re not particularly enthusiastic about vaccination are now starting to change a bit and starting to recommend to people to get vaccinated.”
“You don’t want to see anyone get seriously ill and die,” said Dr. Fauci, “and you don’t want to say, well, I told you, you certainly shouldn’t have got vaccinated. That’s certainly not what I would consider an appropriate public health attitude. What we try to do is get people to look at the data. And the data are really striking in the United States. 99.5% of the deaths from COVID-19 are among unvaccinated people. That is a statistic that just speaks for itself.”
“When you have one half of the entire total population of the United States that’s been vaccinated, meaning the other half is not even when you include in the other half, people who might have been infected in might have some degree of protection. We still have not reached that critical area where you have a comfortable blanket of protection over the community….The easiest way to get the herd immunity is to get the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated.”
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“It’s impossible to project” when we’ll reach herd immunity, said Dr. Fauci. “We’ve done very well with vaccines, particularly among the elderly, more than 85% of individuals, 65 years of age or older have received at least one dose. We know when you look at adults that we are now close to 70% of 80 years of age and older who received at least one shot. So in some respects, we are doing very well, but we really got to do better. And I can’t project, when am I going to get there? Because we still have to get to the point where we’re convincing a lot of people” to get vaccinated. So get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, 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, 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.