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With the COVID-19 vaccines going into arms, there is "light at the end of the tunnel," experts have said. Now, those same experts are worried that not enough people will get the vaccine. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on Meet the Press and This Week to discuss the future of the pandemic—and when we might get close to normal. Read on to see what it means for you—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID and Didn't Know It.
Dr. Fauci Said We Can Get Back to Normal
Fauci was speaking on Mother's Day and said on This Week: "I hope that next Mother's Day, we're going to see a dramatic difference than what we're seeing right now. I believe that we will be about as close to back to normal as we can." But, he added, "there's some conditions to that. We've got to make sure that we get the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated. When that happens, the virus doesn't really have any place to go. There are a lot of vulnerable people around." Get rid of the vulnerabilities and "you're not going to see a surge. You're not going to see the kinds of numbers we see. Now that being the case, I think we could approach what we used to remember as normal before all of this tragedy happened."
Dr. Fauci Said There May Be "Blips" This Fall
"The fact that we have vaccines right now is really a game changer," Fauci said on Meet the Press. "I mean, if we get—which we will—to the goals that the President has has established, namely, if we get 70% of the people vaccinated by the 4th of July, namely one single dose, and even more thereafter, you may see blips, but if we handle them well, it is unlikely that you'll see the kind of surge that we saw in the late fall and the early winter. That's the reason why we plead with people to get vaccinated, because the larger proportion of the population that's vaccinated, the less likelihood that in a season like the coming for the winter, you're going to see a significant surge. There's no doubt about that. That's the reason why vaccinations are so important. That's the wild card that we have now that we didn't have last fall or last winter."
Dr. Fauci Said There Will Be More Relaxations of Mask Guidance to Come
Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said yesterday that, in areas where there is high vaccination and low COVID cases, indoor mask policies could be restricted. "I think you're probably going to be seeing that as we go along and as more people get vaccinated, the CDC will be almost in real time, updating their recommendations and their guidelines," said Dr. Fauci. "But yes, we do need to start being more liberal as we get more people vaccinated. As you get more people vaccinated, the number of cases per day will absolutely go down. We're averaging about 43,000 a day. We've got to get it much, much lower than that. When that gets lower, the risk of any infection, indoor or outdoor diminishes dramatically."
Dr. Fauci Said If You're Vaccine Hesitant, Do This
How do you convince those who are vaccine hesitant to get theirs? "There two major ways," said Dr. Fauci. "One is to get trusted messengers, people who they trust to get to them, to convince them why it's important. Those messages could be anything from sports figures to entertainment, figures, to clergy, or even to their family doctor to explain and convince them why it's important for their own health for that or their family and for the community in general. But the other way is what we're doing is to make it extremely easy for people to get vaccinated. I mean, a typical example is the, now we have 40,000 pharmacies where you can actually just walk in, no computer, no online, no appointment, just walk in and get vaccinated as well as mobile units that are going out. So those are the two major ways I believe we can just get into that group." 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.