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The coronavirus pandemic threatens to be with us forever, as cases rise, many Americans refuse to be vaccinated—and we may all need booster shots, as protection from some vaccines reportedly wears off. What to do? How can you keep yourself and your family safe? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on CNBC's Squawk Box opposite Becky Quick to warn that we should be concerned about Delta, and gave essential advice about how to stay OK. Read on for five essential pieces of life-saving advice—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 He's in Favor of Local Mandates
Dr. Fauci was asked if he'd be in favor of mandates of some sort. "I think that given the fact that there is a reluctance among some in the United States to take what is unquestionably a lifesaving vaccine and if we really do want to get back to normal, or at least approximating normal in this country, it's important to get as many people vaccinated as we possibly can," said Dr. Fauci. "I would be in favor—and I'm not saying anything new, I've said it before—in local entities getting mandates for vaccines. It's not going to happen centrally from the federal government but I believe that local mandates, be that at universities, at colleges, as businesses and cruise lines or whatever," I'm not "pointing out at any individual one but in those general categories I believe that if we do have local mandates, we will get many more people vaccinated and that will be to the benefit of the entire country as well as to the individuals who are being vaccinated and protected."
The Squawk Box Host Asked About the Safety of Her Unvaccinated Kids
Quick is vaccinated—but she is worried about passing COVID on to her children, who are not. "They're understandable concerns," said Dr. Fauci. "They're quite reasonable….I can tell you what data we have that does show that if a young, otherwise healthy person like yourself"—meaning the host—"is fully vaccinated, even if you do get a breakthrough infection, it likely will be either with no symptoms or minimal symptoms. One of the studies showed that if you examine the level of virus in the nasopharynx of a vaccinated person who has a breakthrough infection and doesn't have any symptoms and compare that to the level of virus in the nasopharynx of an unvaccinated person who gets infected and has no symptoms, the level of virus in the nasopharynx of the vaccinated person is considerably lower than that in the unvaccinated person, which just would strongly suggest that the likelihood of your passing it on to anyone else is much, much, much less than if you were not vaccinated. Now, the study that does need to be done is the actual clinical observation study to determine the efficiency or not of transmission. And those studies are ongoing now. So even though we have a suggestion of what the answer is, we haven't definitively shown it yet, but we will have that data within a reasonable period of time."
Dr. Fauci Said Americans May Need Boosters—But Not Yet
Dr. Fauci said, after meeting with Pfizer, who recommended booster shots, "their data…is really one part of a very larger puzzle of data. a lot of which will be coming from our own CDC when they look at more than 20 cohorts that they're following to ask and answer the same question. And that is what is the durability of the protective response. We know for sure that these vaccines are highly, highly effective in protecting you and quite safe. The real question that is being examined right now is what is the durability of that protection? Does it wane off? And if so, how soon? And if you do a boost, how high do you get the response up?"
Dr. Fauci Said the Israeli Data Showed a Drop in Vaccine Protection
Dr. Fauci said of the Israeli data, which led the country to start giving boosters to people at high-risk: "As you can see from the data, there seem to have been a sharp drop in protection against just infection, asymptomatic infection, after a certain number of months. What has held firm is the very good protection against severe disease that might lead to hospitalization."
Dr. Fauci Said the Vaccines Should Be Fully Approved at Some Point, and Would Be "Astounded" if They Were Not Fully Approved
Dr. Fauci doesn't know when the vaccines will receive full approval from the FDA. "They do their thing—they dot all the i's and cross all the t's about that. But the one thing that people should realize that even though we are still under an emergency use authorization, it's a bit different than other emergency use authorizations which usually are granted with not nearly as much positive data as we have for these products so all EUA's are not created equal. So when we say it's still not fully approved, the data are about as good as it gets. So as I've said multiple times and I have no hesitation to say it now, I would be astounded if these vaccines, namely the mRNA and the J&J didn't get full approval. If you look at the United States which mostly are the mRNA vaccines, you know, we've given hundreds of millions of doses to people and the efficacy or effectiveness in the real world is unquestioned. So we're going to get a full approval. The question is, it's just going to take a little bit more time." So get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, 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.