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Dr. Fauci Just Busted This Immunity Myth

You can indeed get ill after a breakthrough, he says.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

With new data coming out daily about COVID and vaccines, it's understandable that you'd be confused about how to stay safe now. 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 Lead with Jake Tapper yesterday to discuss booster shots, kids and other pieces of life-saving advice. Read on for all 6 pieces—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 That, Yes, It's True That Some Breakthrough Cases Can Lead to Severe Disease

Ill woman lying in bed looking at thermometer suffering from seasonal flu and infectious disease

"We've seen that people who were vaccinated, who were fully vaccinated, had very, very low likelihood that they would be hospitalized and get severe disease," said Dr. Fauci. "The breakthrough infections, which are natural when you don't have a 100% effective vaccine, or when people had their disease, was mostly mild or asymptomatic. And what was holding strong was the fact that you were having protection from severe disease, but what the CDC data that literally came out a few days before we made the announcement, we're getting it from their cohorts, that they were following that something different was going on. And that is the protection against infection. And mild to moderate disease was beginning to attenuate in multiple cohorts of individuals. Anyway, that it was dropping. What was holding tight was against severe disease. But when you looked at the data in Israel, which is generally about a month or two ahead of us, not only was the protection against infection going down, but they were starting to see that the protection in certain people like individuals in nursing homes, [protection against] severe disease was going down." 


Dr. Fauci Said That's Why Some Groups Need Boosters Starting September 20

Woman with face mask getting vaccinated, coronavirus, covid-19 and vaccination concept.

"We made a decision that even though right now, we're still holding strong, we want to stay ahead of things. We don't want to wait until all of a sudden, a lot of people are getting hospitalized and a lot of people are dying. We want to be ahead of it. And we want to be prepared for it to keep the durability of the protection of that's a very important distinction. It's understandable how people might be confused, but it's kind of like, I use the analogy you want to skate where the puck is going to be, not where the puck is right now. And we want to have protection, but what will happen a few months from now?"


Dr. Fauci Said He Understood the Criticisms From the WHO

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

The WHO has said boosters are unconscionable given that many countries in, say, Africa haven't even distributed enough first shots. "With all due respect to my very close colleagues and the WHO, and I understand where they're coming from, but we in the United States believe first of all, the data are in our favor. If you look at the data that came out today and yesterday from Israel is showing that the boost is having a very favorable effect," said Dr. Fauci. "So the data are there. But what I believe they're saying is something that is quite reasonable. They are concerned. And I am too that most of the world and the low and middle income countries don't have vaccinations at anywhere near the level. It should be sometimes a couple of percent, but in the United States, we feel we can do both. You could protect our citizens maximally and you could make a major contribution to getting vaccines to the rest of the world. But as you know, we've done more about doses to other countries, particularly lower middle and the rest of the little combined. We have a half a billion doses that are going out."

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Dr. Fauci Said Here's When Kids Under 12 Might Have Their Vaccines

Doctor injecting vaccination in arm of asian little child girl

When should we expect the vaccine announcement about children under 12? "I don't know," said Dr. Fauci. "I just can't get ahead of the FDA. I don't know where they are in their evaluation. There's a safety thing that they paid very close attention to. We'd done trials together with the companies and independently of doing dose escalation studies for children, namely going from 11 to nine, nine to six, six to two. And so on so far, it looks like there's no really big safety signal that we've seen. And it looks like we do see the good response, but the final decision" will be with the FDA.

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Dr. Fauci Feels School Staff Should be Mandated to be Vaccinated

Teacher back at school after covid-19 quarantine and lockdown, disinfecting desks.

"I feel strongly that way," said Fauci about mandating vaccines for school staff. "I really do. I mean, we want to protect our children. We want to keep them in school, physically in the classroom. We've spoken often on this show of the deleterious effects of keeping kids out of school, physically mental health issues, social developmental issues. But if you're going to do that, you've got to create a safe environment. And there are a few ways of doing that. One of the most important ways is to surround the children with people who are vaccinated, if they're eligible to be vaccinated. And that means teachers and personnel in the school, we've got to maintain the safety of the children. As at the same time, we provide them with an education in a way that does not hinder them in the way virtual learning does."

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How to Stay Safe Out There


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