On Tuesday, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci advised that it was “entirely conceivable and likely” that the coronavirus would be much like the common cold or flu in the United States.
After pushing for people to get vaccinated to prevent severe effects from COVID-19 and its variants, Fauci said on CBS’s “Mornings” the hope is after getting enough people vaccinated that “there will be a degree of immunity in the community such that you don’t have a situation where it is dominating” lives.
“[W]hen you are dealing with a virus, a variant, like Omicron, which has really a spectacular capability of spreading person to person, we will be seeing breakthrough infections of vaccinated people as well as people who are vaccinated and boosted. That is going to happen,” Fauci outlined. “The issue is that people need to understand that even with that, the likelihood of a vaccinated and boosted person of getting seriously ill from the infection is getting very, very low. It is the unvaccinated people who are the most vulnerable — not only to getting infected but to getting a serious outcome. So, I understand how there could be some confusion.”
He continued, “You tell people, please get vaccinated, get boosted. Even if you do get infected, you are largely protected against getting seriously. And that’s the thing people need to understand. They shouldn’t throw up their hands and say, ‘Well, if you can get infected even if you’re vaccinated, why get vaccinated?’ There is a very big difference … between a vaccinated and an unvaccinated person when they get infected with regard to the consequences of that infection.”
Fauci was asked by co-host Nate Burleson if there could become enough spread of the virus and population immunity to the point where coronavirus is like the common cold or the flu.
“That’s entirely conceivable and likely, as a matter of fact,” Fauci replied. “We are not going to be in a situation of this degree of intensity indefinitely, for sure. And we are hoping when we get through this Omicron wave, that we will have enough people vaccinated and/or having been infected and recovered well that there will be a degree of immunity in the community such that you don’t have a situation where it is dominating your life where the level of infection and control is very low. We hope to get there soon.”
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