Home Fauci expects Americans could still need to wear face masks in 2022.

Fauci expects Americans could still need to wear face masks in 2022.


“That’s why we are pushing on those studies, to get them vaccinated,” he said of teenagers, who are currently the subject of clinical trials by Pfizer and Moderna. “That will likely occur in the fall; I can’t say it’s going to be on day one of when school starts in the fall term.”

Vaccinations for younger children, however, “likely will not be before the beginning of the first quarter of 2022,” Dr. Fauci said.

On the hotly debated question of whether people should wait longer than the recommended three or four weeks to get a booster vaccine, or even skip the second dose, Dr. Fauci said on NBC News’s “Meet the Press” that it was prudent for people to stick to the prescribed schedule.

“There are enough unknowns in that, particularly the durability of the protection,” he said.

He added that while that new data suggesting people who have had Covid could get enough protection from one dose was “really quite impressive,” it might be complicated to document who has had the virus.

He also addressed the subject of the mutated variant of the coronavirus identified in South Africa. In clinical trials involving the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine in that country, patients who were inoculated were not protected from mild or moderate illness caused by the variant, known as B. 1.351. Dr. Fauci said on “Fox News Sunday” that while it is still rare in the United States, “if it becomes more dominant, we may need a version of the vaccine that’s effective specifically against” it.



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