Chief US health adviser Anthony Fauci has said the United States and other countries will be dealing with Covid-19 for some time to come, suggesting the need for universal yearly vaccinations.
Speaking with New York’s PIX 11 television station in an interview on Sunday, Fauci was asked about the future of Covid-19 in the US and the country’s vaccine drive, declaring: “We’re going to be dealing with this virus on a chronic basis.”
“I very [much] doubt that we’ll eliminate it completely from the United States, but we will have it, hopefully, at a low enough level that it doesn’t disturb us to the extent of disrupting society. We certainly are not there yet,” he said, adding: “we are not going to eradicate this.”
Though Fauci declined to offer a prediction for when vaccines will be available for Americans under the age of five, he noted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is “close” to a decision on the matter, and that jabs are currently available for everyone 12 years and older.
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Asked about whether booster doses would still be needed in the future, the health chief likened additional shots to influenza vaccines, hinting that an annual revaccination may be needed against the coronavirus as “immunity wanes over time.”
“We should really be talking more about keeping your vaccinations ‘up to date,’ namely if you go a certain period of time without having gotten a boost, then you would be due for a boost,” he said.
“That might ultimately merge into a yearly boost. We don’t know that, I’m not saying that’s going to happen, but it’s entirely conceivable.”
Though Fauci voiced some alarm about the ongoing Covid outbreak in the US, even after declaring that its “pandemic phase” had ended during an interview last month, he cautioned against panic over a new string of monkeypox cases in some Western countries in recent weeks.
Resembling smallpox but with “much less severe” symptoms, Fauci argued that while health officials always take new outbreaks “seriously;” there is yet little reason for concern over a major monkeypox epidemic outside Africa, where the pathogen is endemic.