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CDC Director Just Issued This COVID Warning

"Cases are down... but we can't get complacent yet."
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Coronavirus cases are down but are at levels that would have been jaw-dropping just last year. And with 64 million Americans still left unvaccinated, and others confused about when to get their boosters, the "end" of the pandemic seems far, far away. To tell you how to be safe today, and when to get your booster (or to vaccinate your kids), CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky appeared on Fox News Sunday yesterday. Read on for the life-saving pieces of advice—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


CCDC Director Warned Cases are Still Too High. Don't Get Complacent.

Man is lying on bed amidst essential workers.

"The numbers actually speak for themselves," said Walensky about the state of the pandemic today. "Cases are down, they're down more than 50% from where they were in September, but we can't get complacent yet. As we said, it's 75,000 cases a day, 1,500 deaths a day. The good news compared to where we were a year ago is that we have vaccines that work and that we have a lot of science that demonstrates how we can protect ourselves and how we can get cases down further. We know it's critically important to get people that donated all those 64 million people who have not yet been vaccinated. And then with scientific review, if we have a vaccine for our five to 11 year olds working to get them vaccinated. And in the meantime, practicing all the proper mitigation strategies so that we can get those case numbers and death numbers down." So is the delta spike over? "I'm really encouraged to watch the numbers go down the last several days. They've been hanging out at around 75,000. And so we still have some hard work ahead of us in order to break, bring those numbers down to where they were in May and June," she said. "I'm encouraged by numbers coming down right now, but I have learned that we can't be complacent and that we need to be humble and that the virus tends to find places that are under vaccinated. So as our case numbers come down, we need to continue to do the hard work of getting more and more people vaccinated to prevent exactly what you described."


CDC Director Said Here's How to Choose Which Brand of Vaccine to Get

Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine

Is it true that you could get more protection by getting a Moderna or Pfizer booster after your J&J shot? "This is an important next step in our booster plan across this country, because right now we have a booster plan for every one of the vaccines that we are using," said Walensky. "The Moderna vaccine will also be eligible for boosting those same way the Pfizer"—for some people, they should get theirs after 6 months—"as well as a booster plan for J&J two months after initial dose. We also approved a plan so that we can move forward with mix and match. But specifically to your question, you know, we saw data, the FDA and the CDC saw important data from the NIH on the mix and match approach and how, when you boost a J and J vaccine with a Pfizer or modern a vaccine, you get a really good antibody response. We also saw clinical data from J and J themselves that when you boost the J&J with a  J&J vaccine, that you actually get really good effectiveness there as well. So that is really why we left it to the people, because quite honestly, most people did really well with their initial vaccine series. The vast majority of people did really well. And so people may very well want to pick the one that they got before. However, if you want something else, we left that option up to you." As for when, the official CDC advice is:

"For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their initial series:

For the nearly 15 million people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago."


CDC Director Said Here's When Vaccines Would be Available to Kids 5 to 11

Child with face mask getting vaccinated

"We know how many parents are interested in getting their children between five and 11 vaccinated," said Walensky. "And we intend to act as quickly as we can. So importantly, the FDA will meet this week. Soon thereafter, after they are able to review all the science and conduct the regulatory action, the CDC will meet and  if all of that goes smoothly, after reviewing all that science and doing a proper scientific due diligence, we will act quickly. What I can also say is in the meantime, there's important logistical and operational plans that are underway so that that vaccine will be out in the field as soon as we take action." Dr. Anthony Fauci has estimated the vaccine for kids 5 to 11 may be available by early November.

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Said Here's Who Can Get Boosters Now


CDC Director Said This About Vaccine Mandates

Woman is presenting COVID vaccination card.

"We have seen that these mandates are getting more and more people vaccinated," said Dr. Walensky. "Here's what we know the most disruptive thing that you can do to a workforce is to have a COVID outbreak in that workforce. That will most definitely not only send people home, but it will send people to the hospital in some may pass." Wallace mentioned some police would rather quit than get vaccinated. "What we know from the police workforce is that there have been more deaths from the coronavirus over the last year and a half, then all other causes of death for that workforce combined. So we believe it is very important to get these people vaccinated. There is a plan, should these people not want to be vaccinated towards education and counseling to get people the information they need so that they are feeling comfortable in getting vaccinated."

She added: "The way you can down a police force is by having a COVID outbreak in that police force. So what we're working to do is mitigate that from happening.

RELATED: CDC Director Says Be Careful Going Here Because of COVID


How to Stay Safe Out There

Brunette woman wearing a KN95 FPP2 mask.

Follow the public health 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