Fauci, who is chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Fox News on Monday that an estimated 70 to 85 percent of the adult population will need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. That would provide enough protection “where the level of virus is so low it’s not a threat at all, then at that point, you could start thinking in terms of not having to have a uniform wearing of masks, but we’re certainly not near there yet.”
Fauci added that it won’t be anytime soon, either.
“If everything falls into the right place and we get this under control, it is conceivable that you might be able to pull back a bit on some of the public health measures as we get into the late fall of this year,” Fauci told Bret Baier. “But there’s no guarantee of that.”
For now, keep wearing masks and taking other steps to protect against the virus, Fauci said. While infection numbers are starting to drop, there could be more bad news ahead as a variant first identified in the U.K. spreads in the United States.
“The data that we get from our British colleagues is that this virus tends to transmit more readily from person to person, which means that we’re going to have to double down on our public health measures,” Fauci said.
See more of his conversation with Baier below:
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.