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Dr. Fauci Just Said When You Can Get Your Booster

“It's pretty easy to understand because we're dealing with the Delta variant,” said Dr. Fauci. 
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

With coronavirus cases ripping through America, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been preaching about how to stay safe out there, given the raging Delta variant being "more transmissible." Today he appeared on Face the Nation to explain why more kids were getting hospitalized, when you'll get your booster and how to stay safe out there. Read on for five key takeaways from the conversation—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.


Dr. Fauci Said More Kids Were Getting Hospitalized Due to Delta

Nurse with thermometer measures fever on patient child in hospital bed, wearing protective visor and surgical mask.

The rate of kids hospitalized by COVID jumped five times between June and mid August. "It's pretty easy to understand because we're dealing with the Delta variant," said Dr. Fauci. "The Delta variant, as opposed to the Alpha variant, is much, much more transmissible. It has an efficiency of transmitting from person to person, much, much more readily than previous variants. And so many more people, including children are getting infected. You'll get more children infected and when they get infected just on a pure basis of the relative number of people that will actually get into the hospital, you're going to wind up seeing more children in the hospital." 

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Dr. Fauci Said Delta May be More Severe for Adults

Doctors and nurses are working on corona virus/covid-19 infected patient in the ICU/ hospital.

Are the Delta cases more severe, with more kids in the hospital? "We're looking at that very carefully. There is some indication in adults that the Delta variant might be more severe, but all the data that we are collecting right now does not give us any definitive information that the Delta variant is more severe in children. We know certainly more children are getting infected and therefore more are getting hospitalized, but we don't have definitive enough data to say that is in fact, on a child by child basis, that it's any more severe."

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Dr. Fauci Said He is Monitoring New Variants

Scientist working in the laboratory

The new Mu variant is a variant of interest. Dr. Fauci and other experts are "looking to see if it becomes more dominant, namely, if the relative proportion of isolates in a given place, including in this country, becomes more," he said. "Right now, we're not seeing that. The Delta variant is over 99% dominant. So when we say we're keeping an eye on the Mu variant, we want to make sure it doesn't become more dominant. We actually don't know what the consequences would be. The concern is that it has a few, a constellation of mutations that would indicate that it might evade the protection from certain antibodies. That's what we mean when we say we're keeping an eye on it, but right now it is not an immediate threat, even though we take all of these variants very seriously."

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Dr. Fauci Said It's Possible Only Pfizer Boosters Will Be Available at First

Doctor holding Pfizer Biontech vaccine against coronavirus COVID disease

The plan was originally to allow Americans—those eight months after their last dose—to get boosted on September 20th. Is that still the plan? After all, the FDA and CDC have not approved that yet. It's still the plan "in some respects," said Dr. Fauci. Long story short, those who got the Pfizer vaccine may be able to get boosters but the Moderna data is still being reviewed. "It is conceivable that we will only have one of them out, but the other would likely follow soon thereafter," said Fauci. "And the reason for that is that we, as we've said right, from the very beginning, we're not going to do anything unless it gets the appropriate FDA regulatory approval." The FDA will be reviewing: "One is safety. In other words, to get enough people that you followed significantly along enough to say that it's safe, we feel almost certainly that it is, but you want to make sure when you're dealing with allowing the American public to receive an intervention, you want to make sure you are absolutely certain, the other is the immunogenicity or efficacy immunogenicity you would predict would be protective. The company is getting their data together."

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Dr. Fauci Said He Thinks the Vaccines Work Pretty Well Against Variants

Woman wearing face mask looking at camera showing thumbs up after getting the covid-19 vaccine.

There is no way to tell yet if the vaccine will protect us against Mu or other variants. "Well, no. I don't think there's any indication right now because we don't have enough data," he said. "But if you look at the level of antibodies that our vaccines induce, particularly following the boost, I mean, we have data now that when you give a third boost to either Moderna or Pfizer, that it's very effective against any variant that we've tested. So that's the good news about our vaccines. If you get the level of antibody high enough, which boosters actually do, then you can feel pretty confident that you're going to be protected against virtually any variant." So get vaccinated ASAP, 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