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Dr. Fauci Says Here's When We May Need Boosters 

“No vaccine, at least not within this category, is going to have an indefinite amount of protection.”
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

If you've been vaccinated, you may be wondering how long the protection against coronavirus lasts. It's not forever. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on the Today Show to discuss when we may all need boosters, pegged to the news of those who are immunocompromised needing them first. Read on for five life-saving tips—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.


Dr. Fauci Said It's "Inevitable" We'll All Need Boosters—But Only Immunocompromised People Should Consider One Now

Female patient smiling behind the face mask and with her eyes, while getting flu shot

Dr. Fauci pointed out that immunocompromised people need the boosters first because they "never really got a good response to begin with. So for them, it's more of getting them up to what they hopefully had gotten the first time around, but we know because of their immunocompromised, they don't. That's different than the durability of response, which means taking a person— be it an elderly healthy person, or a not elderly, a young, healthy person—and just continue to very, very carefully follow them and if the level of their protection goes below a certain level, to then be ready and have a plan ready to go to get them their boost." Will we all need one eventually? "No vaccine, at least not within this category, is going to have an indefinite amount of protection. Inevitably, there will be a time when we'll have to give boosts. What we're doing, literally, on a weekly and monthly basis is following cohorts of patients to determine if, when and whom should get it. But right now at this moment, other than the immunocompromised, we're not going to be giving boosters to people, but we will be following them very carefully and if they do need it, we'll be ready to give it to them."


Dr. Fauci Said the CDC Was Still Studying Data About When Boosters are Needed for All

Scientists and microbiologists with PPE suit and face mask hold test tube and microscope in lab

Host Craig Melvin mentioned that one study "shows that the Pfizer vaccine is less than 50% effective after six months. What do you make of that?" Fauci said the CDC was looking at all the data. "What the CDC is looking at, they have cohorts of patients: elderly, nursing home, younger individuals, et cetera, looking at all of that data, and if the data shows, in fact, that the degree of protection has gone down below a critical level, that's when you're going to be hearing about the implementation of boosters," he said. "But right now, at this moment, they are examining the data. They do not feel that we absolutely have to give it, except for the immunocompromised, who you know, imminently, they're going to get the approval."

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Dr. Fauci Explained Why the CDC Changed Their Guidance for Pregnant Women From "Could" to "Should"


Pregnant patient in face mask in a hospital at doctor visit during coronavirus outbreak

"The extraordinary amount of data now that's accumulated, with pregnant women who, it's very, very clear that it is safe in pregnant women," said Dr. Fauci. "But importantly, the deleterious harmful effect to pregnant women, if they get COVID, not only to the woman herself, but to the fetus. So, when you balance an enormous amount of experience that gives you a positive approach that there really is a real high degree of safety, against what we absolutely know, that when pregnant women who are not vaccinated get Covid, they get into serious difficulty. So there's no question that that recommendation had to switch from 'could' to 'should.'"

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Dr. Fauci Was Asked If We Should Open All Schools


School child wearing face mask

"It's really a delicate balance, because we've known from the experience that we've had over the last now year and a half that keeping children physically out of class and having them have virtual and staying at home has really considerable deleterious effects on them from the standpoint of mental health, social development, a variety of other things," said Dr. Fauci. "So, we know that that's an issue. Then, when you look at the situation that if you want to keep them in school, you've really got to do everything you can to keep them safe. And what that really means in my mind and in the mind of public officials, is the first thing you do is you surround them with people who are vaccinated. And that's the reason why we want the teachers to get vaccinated, we want the personnel in the school to get vaccinated, and we want children who are eligible, because of their age, to get vaccinated."

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How to Stay Safe Out There

Brunette woman wearing a KN95 FPP2 mask.

Follow Fauci's 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.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek