Fauci says you don't need to wear a mask for family gatherings this Thanksgiving – but only if everyone is fully vaccinated against COVID-19

anthony fauci thanksgiving turkey
Dr. Fauci said he doesn't plan to wear a mask during his family's Thanksgiving celebrations.Al Drago/AFP via Getty Images, filadendron/Getty Images
  • You don't need a mask at Thanksgiving if your family is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Dr. Fauci said.

  • He advised wearing a mask if you don't know the vaccination status of others, per CNN.

  • "Get vaccinated and you can enjoy the holidays very easily. And if you're not, please be careful," he said.

Americans don't need to wear masks during family gatherings this Thanksgiving – as long as everyone there is fully vaccinated, Dr. Anthony Fauci has said.

"That's what I'm going to do with my family," Fauci, President Biden's chief medical adviser, told CNN on Sunday.

He cautioned that everyone should wear masks when traveling and for indoor gatherings when they don't know the vaccination status of the people around them.

"Get vaccinated and you can enjoy the holidays very easily, and if you're not, please be careful," Fauci, said. People could get tested but this wasn't a substitute for vaccination, he added.

Fauci said that getting vaccinated was a "safety net" that could take away any anxiety about what people should and shouldn't do over the holidays.

Fully vaccinated means leaving two weeks after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna's vaccines, or two weeks after Johnson & Johnson's single-dose shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

People with medical conditions or those who take drugs that weaken the immune system may not be fully protected even after an additional booster dose, and "should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people until advised otherwise by your healthcare provider", the CDC says.

Fauci said that children aged five to eleven should get shots now so they are fully vaccinated in time for the Christmas holidays.

About 37% of Americans older than five years who are eligible for a COVID-19 shot remain unvaccinated, CDC data shows. A CDC study from September found that people who hadn't had two doses were 11 times more likely to die than those who had.

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