Fauci says vaccinated people can feel good about gathering for holidays

Fauci also warns that vaccination numbers are not enough as cases still high in US

Sravasti Dasgupta
Tuesday 16 November 2021 05:41
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Anthony Fauci says vaccinated Americans can enjoy the holidays

Dr Anthony Fauci has said that family gatherings should not be a cause of concern for those who are vaccinated against Covid-19 this holiday season.

“If you get vaccinated and your family’s vaccinated, you can feel good about enjoying a typical Thanksgiving [and] Christmas with your family and close friends,” the White House chief medical adviser said in an interview hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center on Monday.

Dr Fauci, who is also the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, however warned that vaccinations were not enough as cases were still high in the US. He stressed on the importance of using masks in outdoor spaces as well as in closed indoor spaces, including gatherings of large people.

“But when you’re with your family at home, goodness, enjoy it with your parents, your children, your grandparents. There’s no reason not to do that,” said Dr Fauci.

As of 15 November, the US has recorded a total of 46,993,724 cases with 760,266 deaths, according to data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

While 68.4 per cent of those eligible have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 58.8 per cent both doses, cases are still high, especially in states with lower vaccination numbers.

CDC data showed that the seven-day moving average of Covid-19 cases in the country was 80,823 cases as of 14 November. However, the number of daily deaths has been showing a decreasing trend. On 13 November, the seven-day moving average of Covid-19 deaths in the US dropped to 1,043 after hovering near the 2,000-mark for weeks.

Dr Fauci said that while the pandemic will not go on indefinitely, these trends show that the disease can become endemic if vaccination rates can be sustained.

“How quickly we get to the end depends on us, how well we vaccinate, how well we get boosted and how well we do the kinds of things to protect ourselves. So that’s my message to the general public,” he said.

As of 15 November, 15.4 per cent of the US population has received a booster shot.

Dr Fauci said that booster shots could “go a long way to make 2022 much more of a normal year than what we’ve seen in 2021”.

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