National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci speaks with Vice President Mike Pence as they attend a press conference with a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on Thursday. November 19, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post | Getty Images
The Chief Medical Officer of the White House, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday that Americans should see a turning point in the pandemic “within a few weeks.”
The United States got an average of 3 million Covid-19 vaccinations a day, Fauci said. According to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the nation reported a 7-day average of 58,164 new Covid cases per day on Sunday. That is 14% less than a week ago.
If the US continues its pace of vaccination, “the momentum will literally change within a few weeks,” Fauci said Monday during a virtual event hosted by the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
“Not due to no infection,” he said. “If you’re waiting for classic measles-like herd immunity, it will be a while before we get there. But that doesn’t mean we won’t significantly reduce the number of infections per day and a.” significant reduction in all parameters, namely hospital stays and deaths. “
The Biden administration has urged Americans to get vaccinated as soon as possible whenever new, highly contagious varieties spread.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said earlier this month that variant B.1.1.7, which appears to be more deadly and spreads more easily than other strains, is the most common strain of Covid circulating in the U.S. today
U.S. health officials are concerned that the highly contagious variant, first identified in the UK, could hamper the nation’s progress on the pandemic. The outbreak has killed at least 572,287 Americans in just over a year.
Even so, vaccinations are being administered at a rapid pace. More than 139 million Americans, or 42.2% of the total US population, had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine on Sunday, according to the CDC. Around 94.7 million people, or 28.5% of the population, are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
Last week, the Biden administration announced a massive campaign to convince more Americans, especially young people, to take the Covid-19 vaccines as supply begins to exceed demand in some parts of the US
According to Fauci, the goal is to vaccinate between 70% and 85% of the US population – or around 232 to 281 million people – to achieve herd immunity and suppress the pandemic.
But he said Monday that herd immunity was a “moving target”. The US should just focus on getting as many Americans as possible vaccinated, Fauci said.
“We don’t know how long infection-related immunity will last. We don’t know if someone who got infected last winter or early 2020 is safe now from a protected perspective,” he said.