As coronavirus cases continue past 150,000 a day in America, are you safe against it? That was the question at the top of mind for Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Sunday morning. On Meet the Press, he discussed boosters and immunity after a COVID infection, and the five points you're about to read may save your life. Read on for each one—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Dr. Fauci Said if You Get COVID, You Should Still Get Vaccinated
"When you do get infected, you get strong immunity," said Dr. Fauci. "There's no doubt about that." However, he warns, "the durability is unclear. There's another fact: We know that if you do get infected and recover and get vaccinated, the level of your immunity is extraordinarily high surpassing any of the other two dose vaccines that you get. So there are certain things we do know, the two things I just mentioned, the thing that's still unclear is what the durability of natural infection induced immunity is. …We know when you get a shot, following natural infection and recovery, you'd get a very good immune response. So that is a question of interest and hopefully we'll be able to answer it in an expeditious manner."
Dr. Fauci Said Here's Who Should Get Their Booster Shot
"A very competent group of people who advise the FDA deliberated and came to the conclusion that rather than have essentially everyone who's gotten the regular immunization of two shots be able to get boosted…" those "65 years of age or older, or those 18 to 64 with underlying conditions that might make their response to infection be severe" shot get boosted now, said Dr. Fauci. "And those who have institutional or occupational situations would make them more risk of getting exposed and infected. So that's a fair chunk of people in the United States." He was speaking about the Pfizer vaccine; those who got Moderna and J&J will have to wait for now.
Dr. Fauci Said Here's What High Risk Means
Todd asked about "the definition of who's in the high risk category. Because that seems to be a bit subjective." Should people in areas with low vaccination rates, for example, be considered high risk? "The way the recommendation came out was not in the sense of geographically where you're located," said Dr. Fauci. "It was talking about underlying conditions and they're pretty well delineated with the CDC has categories of people who are at risk for more severe disease. When you talk about the next category is people 18 to 64, who on the basis of institutional or occupational: People who might be exposed based on what their occupation is, healthcare providers, people who are in essential jobs, where people from the outside keep coming in, those are the types of people. It's not been said because you live in this state versus that." (For a complete list of the CDC's high risk categories, see here.)
Dr. Fauci Said Here's What the Next Three Months Look Like
"The next three months is up to us," said Dr. Fauci. "We still have approximately 70 million people who are eligible to be vaccinated who have not yet gotten vaccinated. If we get the overwhelming majority of those people vaccinated, as we get into the mid to late fall and winter, we would get through the winter. Well, you know, we always have to worry about the other respiratory infections, particularly influenza. So we strongly encourage people to also get the influenza vaccine. I believe if we get that overwhelming majority of the people vaccinated as we enter into the fall and winter, we can have good control over this and not have a really bad winter at all."
How to Stay Safe Out There
Follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, 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.