Fauci says people should still wear masks after getting COVID vaccine

Fauci says people should still wear masks after getting COVID vaccine
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, says that people who receive the vaccine for COVID-19 should “continue to wear masks.” He has also advised that those vaccinated from the disease will likely still need to refrain from indoor dining and going to theatres. 

“There are things, even if you’re vaccinated, that you’re not going to be able to do in society,” Fauci said. 

“There are certain aspects of being vaccinated and what that means to you personally and your own personal safety and that of your family versus what vaccines will allow you to do in society,” said Fauci, in response to a question posed by a journalist who asked him if he sees people being able to return to normal life after taking the vaccine. 

“One relates to you yourself being vaccinated and the other relates to the number of people and the relative percentage of people in society that will be vaccinated because there will be things that you will not be able to do because the burden of virus in society will be very high, which it is right now, even though we’re going way down on the decline that [Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] Dr. Walensky showed you, we are still at an unacceptably high baseline level, with the seven-day average being quite high,” said Fauci.

“So there are things, even if you’re vaccinated, that you’re not going to be able to do in society,” he added. “For example: indoor dining, theaters, places where people congregate, that’s because of the safety of society. You yourself, what you can do, when you are together with another person, we are looking at that and we are going to try to find very quickly what recommendations could be made about what people can do.”

“One of the things that is universal here, that we know, that at this point in time it is unclear whether when you get vaccinated and you might be protected from clinical disease, which is the primary endpoint of the vaccine studies, that you could conceivably be infected, have virus in your nasal pharynx, and at that same time have no symptoms, which is the reason why we recommend and say you still need to wear a mask, because if you do have virus in the nasal pharynx — even though we hope that when the data comes in, it’s gonna show that the very virus level is quite low and you’re not transmitting it — we don’t know that now. And for that reason we want to make sure that people continue to wear masks despite the fact that they’re vaccinated,” concluded Fauci.

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