White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted COVID-19 vaccines don’t protect “overly well” against infections.
The National Institute of Health director spoke on Fox News’s “Your World” Tuesday, admitting breakthrough infections are still a problem for the vaccinated:
“One of the things that’s clear from the data [is] that even though vaccines – because of the high degree of transmissibility of this virus – don’t protect overly well, as it were, against infection, they protect quite well against severe disease leading to hospitalization and death.Advertisement - story continues below
And I believe that’s the reason…why at my age, being vaccinated and boosted, even though it didn’t protect me against infection, I feel confident that it made a major role in protecting me from progressing to severe disease.
And that’s very likely why I had a relatively mild course. So my message to people who seem confused because people who are vaccinated get infected – the answer is if you weren’t vaccinated, the likelihood [is] you would have had [a] more severe course than you did have when you were vaccinated.”
Fauci encouraged Americans to return to wearing masks and get their COVID-19 vaccine boosters as new variants reportedly begin to make the rounds.
The 81-year-old White House medical adviser is quadruple-vaccinated, according to The New York Post, and is warning others about the latest Omicron variant, BA.5.
“The threat to you is now,” Fauci said during a White House briefing Tuesday. “Immunity wanes, whether that’s immunity following infection or immunity following vaccine.”
The doctor went on to say, “If you were infected with BA.1, you really don’t have a lot of good protection against BA.4/5. We should not let it disrupt our lives,” he said, “But, we cannot deny that it is a reality that we need to deal with.”
Fauci has only recently returned to his duties as the head of the White House’s fight against COVID-19 after battling his own infection.
The high-profile doctor reported testing positive for coronavirus around the middle of June, at which time he began to take oral anti-virals to fight the infection.
In addition to coming down with COVID-19 despite his own rigorous vaccine schedule and five-day course of Pfizer’s anti-viral drug Paxlovid, the doctor also reportedly experienced a “Paxlovid rebound.”
According to a report by The Hill, the phenomenon occurs when a person tests negative for the virus at the end of a course of the medication, only to become ill again.
Fauci reported feeling “really poorly,” saying his symptoms were much worse in the days following the rebound and said he started a second course of Paxlovid.
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