Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, makes an opening statement during a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing to discuss the ongoing federal response to COVID-19 in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC , May 11, 2021.
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The Chief Medical Officer of the White House, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he hopes the US will have some control over Covid-19 by spring.
“If we can get through this winter and get the majority, the overwhelming majority of the people who haven’t been vaccinated, vaccinated, I hope we can get a good control in the spring of 2022,” Fauci said in an interview on CNN on Anderson Cooper 360 . “
Many scientists are now predicting that Covid will continue to circulate around the world for the foreseeable future, obliging nations to reintroduce public health measures on an ad hoc basis.
US health officials claim vaccinations are the nation’s best hope to dramatically reduce the number of new cases and end the pandemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 171 million Americans, or 51.5% of the total US population, are fully vaccinated as of Monday.
“When we get into spring, we could go back to some degree of normalcy, which is to resume the things we hoped we could do, restaurants, theaters and the like,” Fauci told CNN.
That prediction comes with a major caveat, he said, noting that U.S. officials originally thought Covid would be pretty well contained by July 4, before the Delta variant showed up and derailed those projections.
“If we go any further without vaccinating the people who were supposed to be vaccinated, this could continue and lead to the development of another variant that could complicate things,” he said.
On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration granted Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine full approval – the first in the United States to receive the coveted designation.
US officials and health experts hope that full approval will convince some unvaccinated Americans that the shots are safe. A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 3 in 10 unvaccinated adults said they would be more likely to be vaccinated if one of the vaccines got full approval.
In a separate interview Tuesday on NBC’s “Today Show,” Fauci said there will also be a lot more “enthusiasm” for prescribing the vaccine, which will lead to a surge in vaccination rates.
Shortly after the FDA granted approval, New York City officials said they would require all 148,000 teachers and public school staff to receive their Covid-19 vaccine shots this fall. They had previously said that employees could avoid the vaccines if they had regular weekly Covid tests.
The Pentagon said it will require service members to receive the Pfizer vaccine after it receives full approval.
With full approval, companies can now advertise the vaccine on television and other media platforms, which could also help with vaccinations, Fauci said.
“You’re going to be doing a lot more publicity, which you weren’t allowed to do unless you got full consent,” he said.