COVID-19 vaccines are slowly being rolled out, but don’t throw out those face masks just yet. Infectious disease expert and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force Dr. Anthony Fauci is telling people to continue to wear face coverings.
“You can enjoy the family and the warmth of the holiday season and still stay safe and prevent yourself from getting infected by just doing some of the common things that we talk about; appropriate wearing of masks, trying to keep some physical distance,” he said on CNN’s Sesame Street town hall (via The Hill).
While the COVID-19 vaccine is a big step towards ending the pandemic, getting vaccinated doesn’t mean you’re immediately protected from COVID, so it’s best to continue to take precautions. “It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination,” warn the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.”
Dr. Fauci says the end of the pandemic is in sight
Fauci has also cautioned the public to keep holiday gatherings small this year, warning that we may be in for a rough winter. The good news, though, is that if people continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and get vaccinated, the end of the pandemic will likely come soon. “If we can hang together as a country and do these kinds of things to blunt these surges until we get a substantial portion of the population vaccinated, we can get through this,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press.
Fauci has said that most people in America will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming months. “I would think as we get to April and May that we likely would have, for those who want to get vaccinated, the overwhelming majority of the people that want to get vaccinated,” he told Bloomberg Quicktake.
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