Dr. Fauci: Masks should still be worn after getting COVID vaccine
Biden chief medical adviser tells ‘Your World’ more must be done to determine whether vaccinated people can transmit virus
Children can return to in-person learning “without necessarily having everyone vaccinated, all the teachers or all the students,” White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci told “Your World” Friday.
“The default should be, and has been for quite a while, that to the best of our ability, we should try to get the children back to school as quickly as we can and keep them in school,” Fauci told host Neil Cavuto.
When Cavuto asked if there was “inherent risk” to bringing students back into school buildings before all teachers have been vaccinated, Fauci answered: “There is a risk to almost everything we’re doing in this environment. So the question is relative risk. I mean, how much do you want to diminish the risk?”
The Biden administration has issued mixed signals about reopening schools, with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki saying Thursday that CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky was speaking “in her personal capacity” by saying that teacher’s don’t need to vaccinated for schools to reopen.
Fauci also confirmed that Americans who receive the coronavirus vaccine should continue to wear masks until more studies are done to determine whether vaccinated people can get infected or transmit the virus.
“At this particular time, we’re not certain whether or not vaccination is going to protect you against getting infected, but having no symptoms,” he explained.
“We know that the primary endpoint of the vaccine trials that led to the emergency use authorization that showed 94 to 95 percent efficacy was effective in preventing symptomatic disease,” Fauci added. “What we need to show is that it actually prevents you from getting infected even though you don’t have any symptoms.”
“Until we know that,” the doctor concluded, “there is still some risk, likely a small risk, but some risk that you may not know you’re infected inadvertently, because you have been vaccinated, but yet you might pass the infection to someone else. For that reason, we recommend wearing a mask.”
When asked by Cavuto whether Americans should wear multiple maks, Fauci claimed that he “wasn’t recommending” wearing more than one face covering. there has been a “lot of discussion” and that it is a “reasonable question.”
“[It’s] common sense; if one mask prevents you from getting infected or prevents you from infecting others, it’s a physical barrier,” he said. “So people have asked, ‘If I wear two masks, would that be better?”
“The answer is: we don’t have the data to make a formal recommendation of that. But it makes common sense that if it makes you feel more comfortable and more protected, there’s nothing wrong with wearing two masks.”
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