More Vaccinations Can Help Head Off Holiday Covid Surge, Fauci Says
(Bloomberg) -- Stepping up the rate of Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters can help avoid a holiday surge in new cases that have dropped to a plateau of about 70,000 a day, White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci said.
While hospitalizations and deaths have fallen in the U.S., it’s far too early to pull back on mitigation measures such as mask-wearing, Fauci said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Balance of Power with David Westin.”
“If we get the overwhelming proportion of unvaccinated people vaccinated, and we get those who are vaccinated and eligible to get a booster,” Fauci said, “we can go a long way to preventing a new surge as we go into the winter.”
The winter months bring indoor gatherings, holiday travel and dry air that may contribute to the spread of airborne viruses like Covid. Fauci pointed to a recent resurgence in Europe as a warning that the virus could begin rising again in the U.S., and that increased use of vaccines are key to keeping cases and deaths at bay.
“We’ve seen now in Europe -- even some of the western European countries like Germany, Denmark and others that have pulled back on some of their mitigation -- they are now starting to see a surge,” Fauci said. “We don’t want to do that. We’re on a downward trend, we want to keep going on a downward trend.”
Fauci hailed the positive results from tests of new drugs from Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. that have shown ability to prevent deaths and hospitalizations among high-risk patients. However, he said, the safest approach remains avoiding infection completely, and that means using preventive measures.
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