Fully vaccinated Americans will “almost certainly” require a coronavirus booster shot within a year of getting their primary injection, Dr. Anthony Fauci said this week.
“Every year, you need to go to get your flu vaccine,” Bourla said. “It’s going to be the same with COVID. In a year, you will have to go and get your annual shot for COVID to be protected.”
Fauci doubted that booster shots created specifically for the virus variants would be necessary, stating it is “likely that you could just keep boosting against the wild type, and wind up getting a good enough response that you wouldn’t have to worry about the variants.”
The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director made waves this week after concluding Americans were “misinterpreting” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated guidance, which states that fully vaccinated people can “resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
As a result, major retailers have taken action, lifting their hardline mask policies but creating confusion among some, as they are still requesting unvaccinated individuals to continue wearing masks.
“The problem and the issue is that we don’t have any way of knowing who is vaccinated and who’s not vaccinated,” Fauci said during an appearance on Good Morning America this week.
Fauci also participated in an Axios virtual event, where he said people are misinterpreting the CDC guidance as the removal of a mask mandate “for everyone.”
“It’s not,” he said.
“It’s not their fault,” Fauci continued. “People either read them quickly, or listen and hear half of it. They are feeling that we’re saying: ‘You don’t need the mask anymore.’ That’s not what the CDC said.”
“They said: If you are vaccinated, you can feel safe — that you will not get infected either outdoors or indoors,” Fauci continued. “It did not explicitly say that unvaccinated people should abandon their masks.”
Several state officials have followed suit, easing mask mandates in their state in accordance with CDC guidance, including blue New York.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who lifted the Lone Star State’s mask mandate in March, took it a step further, signing an order imposing fines on local government entities for enforcing mask mandates.
“We can continue to mitigate COVID-19 while defending Texans’ liberty to choose whether or not they mask up,” Abbott said in a statement.
According to the CDC’s May 19 data, 125,453,423 people in the United States have been vaccinated, representing 37.8 percent of the U.S. population.