Fauci warns people ‘are going to get in trouble’ with Covid if they’re not up to date on vaccines

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More than two years into the coronavirus pandemic, Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said he understands people are exhausted, but urges those who aren’t up to date on the vaccines to get vaccinated – this time, as the latest omicron sub-variant, BA.5, became the dominant strain in the United States.

Fauci told Los Angeles radio station KNX News earlier this week that while unvaccinated people and those with underlying illnesses are most at risk for complications from covid-19, others are not. exempted.

“If they’re not vaccinated or if they don’t get a booster, they’re going to be in trouble,” he said.

Biden officials urge use of boosters and antivirals against BA.5

BA.5, which has been called the “worst version of the virus,” accounts for more than 85% of covid-19 cases, with more than 41% of US counties experiencing a high community level of covid-19, according to the data. the most recent from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some health experts have expressed concern over the insufficient number of people vaccinated, especially as the country has moved away from restrictions and mandates, such as masking, to help control the spread of the disease.

In fact, the majority of the US population is not up to date on vaccines – defined by the CDC as having completed the primary series and all recommended booster doses for that individual. CDC data shows that 67% of the US population is fully vaccinated, but only 48% received the first booster. Only 32% of people aged 50 and over – who are eligible for a second booster – received this extra dose.

Fauci said it was important to get as many people vaccinated and stimulated as possible so the virus doesn’t have “many opportunities to circulate freely.” When the virus has that opportunity, he said, it can continue to mutate.

“It’s about you as an individual, but it’s also about the collective responsibility to bring this outbreak under control,” he told the radio station.

As the BA.5 variant spreads, the risk of reinfection with the coronavirus increases

That said, it is not uncommon for vaccinated people to become infected. President Biden, who is vaccinated and doubly boosted, recently tested positive for the virus – then contracted a rebound infection – although he had ‘very mild symptoms’.

Health experts, including Fauci, have repeatedly pointed out that research shows that injections still protect against serious complications, including hospitalization and death. As of July 27, more than 126,000 new cases were being reported daily, with 6,340 hospitalizations and 364 deaths, according to CDC data.

“Right now we have boosters that are very effective in decreasing any aspect of the infection,” Fauci told KNX News. “A virus like BA.5, which is the most common circulating virus, is so transmissible that it often breaks vaccine protection. But vaccines and boosters still do a very good job of preventing you from progressing to a serious illness.

Additionally, a booster designed to target the omicron variant is expected to be rolled out in the fall with the goal of broadening immunity.

“You don’t want covid to dominate people’s lives in this country or around the world, but you don’t want, wishing it was behind us and it was in the rearview mirror, not doing things that would be prudent “, Fauci said.

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