Dr. Anthony Fauci has announced that there may be new guidance to be released soon for people fully vaccinated for Covid-19.
At a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Fauci, the White House pandemic adviser, mentioned that new guidance may be coming soon for those who have been fully vaccinated for Covid-19.
In the meantime, health officials are advising people to still wear masks, keep social distancing and avoid get-togethers.
No guidance yet
Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that currently, there is no guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yet on what to do when groups of people who have received both vaccine doses want to get together.
However, he said: “But I believe that’s going to change. We’re talking about this at the level of the CDC.”
Based on CDC data, over 9.5 million people have been fully vaccinated with two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine since vaccinations started in the country on December 14.
Currently, the two authorized vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech are able to prevent symptomatic infections in most cases but it is still unclear whether they also prevent asymptomatic infection.
Dr. Fauci shared that while he and his daughter have both received two doses of vaccines, they still follow the standard social distancing and quarantine guidelines before seeing each other.
“I’m doubly vaccinated. My daughter is doubly vaccinated. The last time she tried to come home, she had to go quarantine for 14 days and get tested,” he said. “It was a big, big deal to finally see my daughter in the same room. I think that’s going to have to change.”
He added: “What’s the reason to get vaccinated in the first place, if you don’t want to get to normal?”
Don’t delay second dose
Last week, Dr. Fauci said that delaying second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine is not necessary to get more people first doses. He said it looks like there will be a much steadier supply coming in through February and into March.
He said: “Certainly you don’t want vaccines sitting around in the refrigerator or in a freezer if they’re ready to go. You want to give them to people.” He believes there is a way to increase vaccine distribution without the need to delay a second dose.
“If you miss it by a few days to a week or two, I don’t think that’s a big problem, as the CDC says, but I’d be concerned about delaying it for three months or so,” he added. “You got to be careful because you’re dealing with different vaccine platforms.”
Fauci mentioned data showing that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines “are solid” about getting a second shot 28 days and 21 days later, respectively.
On Tuesday, he said around 70% to 85% of the population should be vaccinated against the virus before the US can begin to return to a sense of normalcy. However, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows that less than 2% of Americans have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine so far.
The CDC also reported that almost 34 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered, with more than 27 million people having received at least one dose, representing just more than 8% of the population. Only around 6.4 million people have received both doses.
Dr. Fauci hopes the country could get to a high level of vaccinations by the end of the summer to the beginning of fall. He added: “Having said that, there is an absolute ‘but’ in that. And the ‘but’ is that we have to address the variants.”