Story at a glance
- Stalling vaccination rates could lead to 100,000 new deaths by December, Anthony Fauci said.
- “We know we have the wherewithal with vaccines to turn this around, and the reason the numbers are so alarming is that we have about 80 million people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not yet vaccinated,” Fauci added.
- Currently, around 52 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated.
Surging coronavirus cases and stagnating vaccination rates in parts of the U.S. could lead to 100,000 new COVID-19 related deaths by December, White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said Sunday.
But the head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases told CNN’s “State of The Union” that widely available vaccinations make the potential outcome “predictable but entirely preventable.”
“We know we have the wherewithal with vaccines to turn this around, and the reason the numbers are so alarming is that we have about 80 million people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not yet vaccinated,” Fauci said.
“We could turn this thing around and we can do it efficiently and quickly if we could just get those people vaccinated,” he continued. “it's so important now, in this crisis that we're in that people put aside any ideologic, political or other differences, and just get vaccinated.”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS RIGHT NOW
COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are both increasing across the country, according to data compiled by The New York Times. In the past two weeks, hospitalizations rose by 24 percent while deaths climbed by 96 percent.
Currently, around 52 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated while more than 61 percent have received at least one dose.
Fauci told NBC’s “Meet the Press” the Biden administration still plans to begin administering booster shots in September to those vaccinated at least eight months ago as data shows waning efficacy of vaccinations over time.
“We’re still planning on eight months,” Fauci said. “That was the calculation we made [and] this roll out will start on the week of 20 September.
“That’s the plan that we have, but we are open to data as they come in. This will have to go through the FDA process and then the advisory committee on immunization practices that advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]. So right now, we’re sticking with eight but we’re totally open to any variation in that based on the data.”
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