Story at a glance
- “I think we’re going to be wearing masks for several, several months into the future,” Fauci said Friday.
- Fauci projected that anyone who wants a vaccine could begin getting them as soon as April, as priority groups wrap up their vaccinations and more doses become available.
The nation’s top infectious diseases expert says people will need to continue wearing masks to curb the spread of the coronavirus for the next “several, several months” as the nation races to get vaccines into the arms of Americans.
“Hopefully by the time we get all the people vaccinated, let’s say 70 to 85 percent of the people vaccinated, the level of virus in the community could be so low that you could start pulling back a bit on the stringent public health measures,” Fauci said during an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” Friday.
“I think we will be wearing masks for several, several months into the future.”— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 12, 2021
Dr. Fauci says the level of virus will need to be at a low level in the community before pulling back on public health measures. https://t.co/PI79lTD2Mk pic.twitter.com/920fMWL7zk
“You don’t want to do it all at once, but I think we’re going to be wearing masks for several, several months into the future,” he said, emphasizing that any easing of safety measures should be done “prudently and gradually.”
His comments come as some states have begun relaxing certain coronavirus restrictions amid decreasing case levels and hospitalizations.
On the vaccine front, Fauci projected that anyone who wants a vaccine could begin getting them as soon as April as priority groups wrap up their vaccinations and more doses become available.
“Once you get past the priorities, then you can essentially say anybody who’s anybody can just get vaccinated,” he said. “As we go from April to May to June and then hopefully by July, we’ll be at that point where we have enough vaccine for virtually everyone.”
On Thursday, President Biden announced that his administration secured an additional 200 million doses of coronavirus vaccine, increasing the U.S. supply to 600 million doses, which is enough to vaccinate every American. The doses will be made available by the end of July.
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