Fauci told Los Angeles radio station KNX News earlier this week that while people who aren’t vaccinated and those with underlying conditions are at the highest risk of complications from Covid-19, others are not exempt.
“If they don’t get vaccinated or boosted, they’re going to get in trouble,” he said.
Biden officials urge use of booster shots and antivirals against BA.5
BA.5, which has been called “the worst version of the virus,” accounts for more than 85 percent of COVID-19 cases, with more than 41 percent of US counties experiencing high-level COVID -19 in the community, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some health experts have raised concerns that not enough people have been vaccinated, particularly as the nation has moved away from restrictions and mandates, such as the use of masks, to help control the spread of the disease.
In fact, the majority of the US population is not up-to-date on vaccinations, defined by the CDC as having completed the primary series and all booster doses recommended for that person. CDC data shows that 67 percent of the US population is fully vaccinated, but only 48 percent have received their first booster shot. Only 32 percent of people over the age of 50, who are eligible for a second booster, have received that extra dose.
Fauci said it’s important to vaccinate and stimulate as many people as possible so the virus doesn’t have “ample opportunity to circulate freely.” When the virus is given that chance, he told her, it can continue to mutate.
“This is about you as an individual, but it’s also about the community responsibility to control this outbreak,” he told the radio station.
As the BA.5 variant spreads, the risk of coronavirus reinfection grows
That said, it is not uncommon for people who are vaccinated to become infected. President Biden, who was vaccinated and double-boosted, recently tested positive for the virus, later contracting a rebound infection, though he experienced “very mild symptoms.”
Health experts, including Fauci, have repeatedly repeated He noted that research shows the injections still protect against serious complications, including hospitalization and death. As of July 27, more than 126,000 new cases were reported daily, with 6,340 hospitalizations and 364 deaths, according to CDC data.
“Right now we have boosters that are very effective in slowing down any aspect of the infection,” Fauci told KNX News. “A virus like BA.5, which is the most common circulating virus, is so transmissible that it often bypasses the protection of the vaccine. But the shots and boosters still do a very good job of keeping it from progressing to serious disease.”
Additionally, a booster designed to attack the omicron variant with the intention of broadening immunity is likely to be released this fall.
“You don’t want Covid to dominate people’s lives in this country or around the world, but you don’t want, by wishing it behind and in the rearview mirror, not to do things that would be prudent.” Fauci said.