Dr. Fauci Just Gave This Warning About Stopping COVID Entirely

The expert says that this is necessary to put an end to the COVID pandemic.

With millions of Americans vaccinated and millions more eager to sit down for their shot, the end of the COVID pandemic may seem like it's on the horizon. However, without enough people inoculated, the pandemic may linger for years to come. Experts have repeatedly warned of the dangers of significant chunks of Americans resisting vaccination. Recently, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), explained how the COVID pandemic could be prolonged if not enough Americans get the vaccine. Read on for his thoughts on how long the pandemic could last, and for more on the nation's leading infectious disease expert, discover The One Side Effect Dr. Fauci Is Worried About With His Next COVID Shot.

Fauci confirmed that the pandemic could linger if not enough Americans are vaccinated.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, prepares to testify before a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on a national plan to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Friday, July 31, 2020.
Kevin Dietsch/Pool Via Cnp/Media Punch/Alamy Live News

In a Dec. 30 interview with Newsweek, Fauci said that the pandemic could be prolonged if a sufficient number of people don't seek vaccination. The doctor warned that if that happens, it "will have a significant negative impact on our ability to contain and end this pandemic."

"If you don't get a substantial proportion of the people vaccinated, and you have a recalcitrant group that prevents you from achieving herd immunity, you can get into a chronic state of a lower level of infection," he explained. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

COVID would remain present at a lower level.

Women in town during COVID-19 pandemic

Without a certain percentage of the population vaccinated, the virus could persist, albeit at a lower level. Fauci explained that this would be "because you've vaccinated some of the people and any vaccination is better than no vaccination."

He added that "if you really wanted to get epidemic control, it would be very important to get the overwhelming majority of the people vaccinated." And for more on how the vaccine works, This Is How Long It Takes for the Vaccine to Protect You From COVID.

You'll begin seeing a drop in cases when 20 percent of people are vaccinated.

Mid adult female doctor at home visit giving a vaccine to a senior patient

Fauci told Newsweek that he estimates that around 70 to 85 percent of the population needs to be vaccinated to see a "dramatic decrease" in cases and really get a good handle on the pandemic.

However, the doctor added that "you're going to see declines in community spread way before you get to 70 to 85 percent … I think as you start vaccinating 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 50 percent, you're going to see more diminution [of cases]." And for more news on the coronavirus vaccine, find out The Real Reason President Trump Hasn't Gotten the COVID Vaccine Yet.

Experts predict there will be hurdles to getting an overwhelming majority of people vaccinated.

Vials of COVID-19 vaccine sitting in a row.

While on NBC's Meet the Press on Dec. 13, Francis Collins, MD, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), agreed with host Chuck Todd about the "hurdle in front of us" to get 70 to 80 percent of the population vaccinated. Collins noted that the struggle would be due to misinformation and mistrust about the vaccine.

The NIH director said that once an overwhelming majority of Americans are vaccinated, "this virus will basically give up, and it'll be gone, and we think we can get there by June or so for almost all of the 330 million Americans who are interested in getting this vaccine. But if only half of them do so, this could go on and on and on." And for more on vaccine rollout, These 2 States Are Going Against the CDC's Vaccine Recommendations.

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