Fauci on Coronavirus Variant: ‘I’m Not Concerned About the People Who Are Vaccinated’

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, testifies during a Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to COVID-19 on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Washington. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via …
Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday said he is not worried about the impact the Delta variant of the Chinese coronavirus will have on vaccinated individuals, contending unvaccinated individuals, rather, are “at risk of getting infected with the virus that now spreads more rapidly and gives more serious disease.”

Speaking on NPR’s Morning Edition, the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director spoke about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) determination to elevate the variant to one “of concern.”

“Some studies have recently come out essentially documenting that indeed, this particular variant does transmit significantly more readily between people and among people than the virus that is now the dominant virus, which is the Alpha variant, which is the one that’s more dominant in the United States,” the White House medical adviser said, citing “very recent data” suggesting the variant is “more dangerous” in that it “can potentially make people more severely ill.”

However, Fauci said he is not concerned about vaccinated individuals in regards to contracting the variant.

“I’m not concerned about the people who are vaccinated because the good news about all this among the seriousness of the situation with regard to the variant is that the vaccines work really quite well,” Fauci claimed, adding, “A recent study came out showing that against any clinical disease with 617, which is the Delta variant, that the efficacy or the effectiveness is somewhere close to 90 percent — 88, 89, 90 percent.”

He continued:

Importantly, the protection against severe disease resulting in hospitalization and death is over 90%, 93, 94%. So if you are vaccinated, you’re going to be protected, which is another very good reason to encourage people strongly to get vaccinated, because if you are not vaccinated, you are at risk of getting infected with the virus that now spreads more rapidly and gives more serious disease. The Brits are having a very difficult time with this. They have about 90 plus percent of their isolates are the Delta. As you mentioned correctly just a moment ago, about 10% of our isolates are Delta. We want to make sure we don’t get into the same situation that people in the U.K. did.

When asked if the United States will see “another surge” in coronavirus cases — due to the fact that travel is increasing but just over 50 percent are vaccinated — Fauci said, “not among vaccinated people.”

“You know, we have a disparity throughout the country. Certain states have low level. They will be at risk,” he added.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) June 18 data, 176,290,249 people in the U.S. have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, representing 53.1 percent of the population. Over 148 million are considered “fully vaccinated,” representing 44.7 percent of the population.

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