Depending on where you’re reading this, the coronavirus pandemic may seem nearly over or coming back. The truth is, it’s coming back if we don’t stop it. The more transmissible Delta variant is spreading, mainly through unvaccinated swaths of the country, and threatening to spin off more dangerous mutations. That’s why Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been speaking to states that are in trouble—and he delivered a warning that affects us all. Read on for six things that may save your life—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.
“If we continue to allow the virus to freely circulate like it seems to be doing in Missouri,” Fauci told the Springfield News-Leader, “you’re giving that virus an opportunity to mutate enough to really become a problem.” As for the continued spread: “It’s like the sun coming up in the morning and setting at night,” Fauci said. “If you have a low level of vaccination, which certain sections of the state of Missouri have, you are going to see an increase in infections, which ultimately might lead to an increase in hospitalizations.” There is also a low level of vaccinations in places like Mississippi and Alabama.
Dr. Fauci was not surprised by the explosion of cases in Arkansas. “These types of things are entirely predictable,” he told Arkansas Online. “We know if you look at regions, be they states, cities, counties that have a low level of vaccination—that’s where we’re seeing the increases in cases, which are leading to increases in hospitalizations. And unfortunately will lead in some cases to an increase in deaths. So it is not surprising when you have a higher level of community spread and a low level of vaccination that you are going to see an increase in cases.”
“You should feel that you have a high degree of protection if you are fully vaccinated,” said Dr. Fauci. “It would be obviously much better if the entire state of Arkansas had a high percentage of vaccines, but vaccinated people should feel appropriately that they are highly protected against getting infected and certainly against getting severe advanced disease.”
“The solution is pretty clear,” he said. “We know these vaccines work extremely well. They are highly effective in preventing infection and even more effective in preventing severe disease. So the solution to the problem, the solution to the challenge, is crystal clear: Get as many people vaccinated as you possibly can. And you will see as in other regions of the country, that the infection rate will not only plateau, it will drop dramatically.”
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“We are in the process right now, even as we speak, of testing, what’s called an age de-escalation study, looking at the safety and the immunogenicity of the approved vaccines in people from 12 years old to nine, then from nine down to six years old, then from six down to two years old,” said Fauci. “And then ultimately from six months to two years old, we are projecting that we’ll have enough data by the end of the fall, early winter as to whether or not these vaccines, which we totally anticipate they will be safe and projected to be effective in children of all ages, whether or not that ultimately gets approved is going to be a regulatory decision left up to the FDA.”
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To understand why the vaccine only has emergency approval “really requires an understanding of the complex nature of a full approval,” said Dr. Fauci. “The FDA has to dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s in the process of full approval. However, having said that it should be pointed out that the volume of positive data showing the effectiveness in the real world, setting of the vaccines together with their safety, make it a situation that it is inevitable that these will be approved fully by the FDA. And it’s really a matter of a technicality. So we should consider the EUAs as good as full approval because of the volume of very positive data that we have on these vaccines.” So 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.