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Dr. Fauci Just Issued This "Tough" Warning

“The thing to do right now is to pull out all the stops on everything we can do to prevent new infections.”
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

In just a few short weeks, by September 20th, at least one vaccine booster should be available to anyone who got their final dose eight months ago. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke with CNN's Jim Acosta over Labor Day Weekend—to promote boosters, and he also had a tough warning about the choices you will have to make going forward. Read on for six essential things he said that you need to know—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Dr. Fauci Warned That Hospitals Were Too Full

Worried nurse sitting in hospital corridor

"I hope we are doing everything we can to mitigate this number of people who are getting infected and requiring hospitalization," said Dr. Fauci. "And ICU beds: We perilously close—in certain areas of the country, getting so close to having full occupancy, that you're going to be in a situation where you're going to have to make some very tough choices. The thing to do right now is to pull out all the stops on everything we can do to prevent new infections, which will ultimately lead to hospitalization. Vaccination is the number one—and if that means mandates at the local level for vaccinations…We've got to make sure that masking is implemented. And even if there are mask mandates, where, which they're trying to push back against mask mandates, there should be mask mandates because we know mask work for sure they work. So to try and prevent the masking of individuals just doesn't make any public health sense."


Dr. Fauci Warned That the Vaccines Do Wear Off and You Will Need a Booster

Woman getting COVID-19 vaccine shot.

"When you look at the evidence from the cohorts here in the United States, there's no doubt that there is a diminution in the efficacy of the vaccine against infection, namely symptomatic infection," said Dr. Fauci. "There's a slight suggestion in a couple of the cohorts that it also is true for a diminution of protection against hospitalization, not profound, but the suggestion, when you look at the data…the data from the Israeli studies are that there's a rather substantial diminution in protection against infection and an unquestionable diminution in the protection against hospitalization. The good news, is that when they boosted people, they had a dramatic and profound increase in the protection against infection, as well as the protection against hospitalization. So their data clearly show that we are in going in the right direction of where we need to go with regard to boosters, but importantly, their data also show that when you give those boosters, you reconstitute to an even higher level than before the protection against both infection and hospitalization."


Dr. Fauci Says Pfizer Boosters Will Likely Be Available First

Doctor holding a syringe

Dr. Fauci said you'll still likely be able to get a Pfizer booster by September 20th as planned. "Pfizer, one of the companies that has the mRNA, has gotten the information in, has been examined and things look like they're ready to go. Moderna might be actually a little bit behind that. And if they are, what you might see is rather than the simultaneous rolling out of the booster program of both those products, you may be sequential by about a week or two. I don't think that is a major issue there, but we would have liked to have seen it happen all together simultaneously, but ultimately the plan will be implemented as was, as was originally put forth."

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Dr. Fauci Says Don't Mix and Match Your Vaccines or Boosters

Female doctor or nurse trying to give shot or vaccine against virus to a scared patient.

If you got Moderna for your first two shots, get Moderna for your booster. "It's better to wait," says Dr. Fauci. "We are doing what's called mix and match studies right now, where you take a look at one who gets Moderna followed by Pfizer, Pfizer, followed by Moderna, et cetera. We'll have all the necessary information in a few weeks. It may not be exactly on the week of September the 20th, but it will be very soon thereafter."

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Dr. Fauci Says Vaccines Will Likely be Three Doses

scientist looking at ampoule with new medication, vaccination development

Dr. Fauci said it's likely "the ultimate proper immunization regimen is a three dose regimen. Remember we made it a two dose regimen. We were dealing with an emergent situation. We needed to get those vaccines out because they were life-saving. And in fact, they have been lifesaving. What we're observing now, not only here in the United States, but in other countries, including Israel and the UK, that the durability of the protection tends to wane, particularly in the context of the Delta variant. The good news is that the boosters really jack up the response very, very high. And we hope that that response would be durable."

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Dr. Fauci Says This Cycle May Continue Until More People Get Vaccinated

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

Acosta asked Fauci if we're in this situation because so many Americans have not been vaccinated. "When you have unvaccinated people, you have a dynamic of virus, replication and transmission in the community, which is not only not good for the people who are unvaccinated, but indirectly, it may ultimately be detrimental to the vaccinated people, because the more circulation of virus you have, the more breakthrough infections you will see," said Fauci. "So the best thing that we could have is the overwhelming majority of the population get vaccinated that would unquestionably ring the level of a virus so low in the community that you would not only see unvaccinated people who are vaccinated now protected, but the people who were originally vaccinated would not have as many breakthrough infections. So that's the reason why we continue to urge people to get vaccinated." So get vaccinated, 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