Fauci on Holidays: Fully vaccinated families can ‘feel good’ about gatherings

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Monday that families who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should “feel good” about gathering for the holidays this year.

Speaking about the future of the pandemic at the Bipartisan Policy Center, the president’s chief medical adviser joined former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, former Baltimore health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen and former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams.

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“If you’re being vaccinated and your family is vaccinated, you can enjoy a typical Thanksgiving, Christmas with your family and close friends,” he said, adding: “when you are with your family at home, hello, enjoy it with your parents, your children, your grandparents. There is no reason not to do it. “

But while vaccination remains the best way to protect against the disease, Fauci advised additional measures to stop the potential for coronavirus spread.

As vaccinations continue, with the number of fully vaccinated now totaling more than 195 million, hospital admissions have increased in states around the country – mainly consisting of unvaccinated patients.

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In an effort to stave off further outbreaks and an expected winter increase, government officials have urged providers of COVID-19 vaccines to make booster shots widely available to most adults.

U.S. health authorities have not yet authorized booster shots for all adults, but current federal guidelines say they can be taken by anyone 65 years of age or older, or who have an underlying health condition or live and work in a “high-risk” setting.

Most recently, children aged 5-11 years have been eligible for the vaccine.

Rising cases driven by the highly transmissible delta variant have put pressure on vaccination efforts, and Fauci also urged anyone eligible for a booster to get one.

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To do so, he said, could “go a long way in making 2022 a much more normal year than what we have seen in 2021.”

“This will end, we are not going to go through this indefinitely,” Fauci said. “How fast we get to the end depends on us, how well we vaccinate, how well we get boosted, and how well we do that kind of thing to protect ourselves. So that’s my message to the general public.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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