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Dr. Fauci Just Issued This Essential COVID Warning

“It would really I think not be prudent at all to declare victory prematurely and pull back.” 
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

It's tempting to think the coronavirus pandemic is almost over, since vaccines are being distributed at a record rate and cities are opening up—but be careful out there, warned Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, this morning. He spoke with Margaret Brennan on CBS's Face the Nation about why the rising infection rate is a danger to you, no matter where you live, and what you can do in the next few weeks to stay safe. Read on for 5 essential points he wants you to hear, as cases rise—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss this urgent news: Here's How You Can Catch COVID Even If You're Vaccinated.


Dr. Fauci Warned That We Have to Do These Two Things or You Might Get COVID

Woman in medical protective mask getting injection in arm vaccination.

"When will the infection rate come down?" asked Brennan of the numbers, which are going in the wrong direction. "I think it's going to come down as soon as we do two things," answered Dr. Fauci. "One that I'm sure we'll be able to do is to continue the really very fine rate of vaccination, where we're vaccinating between 3 and 4 million people per day, but the other wildcard—and this has to be making sure that until we get to that point, we don't pull back on public health measures because we're having between 60 and 70,000 new infections per day. And it would really I think not be prudent at all to declare victory prematurely and pull back without a doubt as we continue every single day to get more and more people vaccinated, that rate will go down. If we don't give the virus the opportunity to essentially surge and by giving the virus the opportunity." Keep reading to see which vaccines he thinks are safe.


Dr. Fauci Said You May Need to Get Booster Shots—and Could Get COVID After Your Vaccine

Doctor holding syringe in hospital.

Will boosters be needed so we can be protected from new variants—or if the current vaccine efficacy fades? "You know, we're going to find that out soon," said Dr. Fauci, "because you determine whether a booster is needed to the particular virus that you're dealing with. Like the standard virus—if you get a level of immunity, which is measured generally by antibodies, it's a correlate of immunity. When that level starts to fade down to a certain critical level, then it's a good indication you'll need a boost. Or if you start to see breakthrough infections"—that's when you get COVID-19 after your vaccination—"either with the original virus or with the variant, and if it's with the variants, even though a person's vaccinated, you might want to boost with a very specific boost, as opposed to just the boost to the regular. So we'll know sometime I believe by the end of the summer, but at the beginning of the fall, likely by the end of the summer, whether or not we're going to have to boost people."


Dr. Fauci Said the Moderna and Pfizer Vaccines Were Very Safe, and We'll Know More About J&J This Friday

Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine

Fauci was asked if he'd still recommend the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, given that it has been "paused" due to six people having blood clots. "From a standpoint of efficacy, no doubt" the J&J vaccine works, said Dr. Fauci. "We're dealing with three highly efficacious vaccines. The issue of safety now is being examined. We'll know a lot more about that by Friday"—when the CDC will meet to discuss next steps—"but the one thing we should emphasize when you're dealing with safety, people should not extrapolate a pause with one vaccine to the other vaccines. For example, the same surveillance system that picked up the six women in the J&J was the same surveillance system that the CDC and the FDA uses with the Moderna product and with the Pfizer product. And thus far, there have been no red flags of that—even though tens and tens and tens of millions of people have been vaccinated with those vaccines. So one of the things you can take away from all of this is that when the surveillance system, the CDC and the FDA say that something is safe, you can be sure that it's safe."


Dr. Fauci Said When We'd Get Back to Normal

Woman with friends watching movie in cinema and laughing.

So when will we finally get back to the way things were before the pandemic? "If we do those two things simultaneously—continue to vaccinate at the same time as we just hang in there a bit longer—well, I believe we will be okay. We will reach the point where we will be able to get back to doing things the way we did before, but we're going to have to make sure that we get as many people vaccinated as we possibly can." 

RELATED: 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID


How to Get Through the End of This Pandemic Safely

Woman putting a second face mask.

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 miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.

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