Dr. Fauci Says You Can Start Doing This Once You're Fully Vaccinated

Being able to do this again would make life so much better.

As eligibility expands for the COVID vaccine, more people are deciding whether or not to make an appointment—and not everyone is enthusiastic. That's because, after a difficult year of restrictions, some have been discouraged to learn that life won't immediately go back to normal, even if you're fully vaccinated. But according to White House COVID advisor Anthony Fauci, MD, there's one exciting way life will change post-vaccine—and it's reason enough to get vaccinated at your earliest opportunity. In a Feb. 25 interview with Chris Cuomo for Cuomo Prime Time on CNN, Fauci shared that becoming vaccinated will allow you to have other vaccinated people in your home again. Read on to learn what Fauci had to say of this exciting news, and for tips on what not to do after vaccination, Don't Go to This One Place After Getting Vaccinated, Doctors Warn.

Inviting Fauci to make his case for the vaccine, Cuomo relayed a question he said he's heard repeatedly from those who have yet to commit to vaccination. "Here's one of the big things that I get from people: 'Why should I get this vaccine? What's in it for me?' It's getting transactional," said Cuomo.

"Well I think what you're going to start seeing really soon—we've had some serious discussions with our colleagues at the CDC—is what happens when you've got two vaccinated people," Fauci began. "Back before vaccination if they wanted to come visit you, they'd have to quarantine for a while, get tested, wear a mask. What we're saying right now—even though it's not backed by data, it's backed by common sense— is that if you have two vaccinated people and they want to get together—be they family members or friends that you know are vaccinated—you can start getting together as individual people, even if the risk is not zero," he said.

While NBC reports that Fauci continues to be cautious in his own home, he and his wife now allow people who have been fully vaccinated and in rare instances, family members who have been regularly tested. "The risk becomes extremely low when you have both parties vaccinated. So we're going to start seeing people saying, 'hey, the more people get vaccinated, I can have dinner with my family member that comes in," Fauci added.

The benefits of vaccination are significant on many levels, he argued: we all stand to benefit "personally, socially, and from a public health standpoint." And while there's no doubting Fauci's commitment to fighting COVID from a public health perspective, he shared what he personally looks forward to most. "When my daughter wants to come in here and she's doubly vaccinated, I'm going to have her over to the house and I'm going to give her a big hug that I haven't been able to do for a year," he said. Looking for more pearls of wisdom from Dr. Fauci? Read on for more insights from his interview with Chris Cuomo, and to learn more about vaccination, Dr. Fauci Says Don't Do This After Your First COVID Shot.

The vaccine is a "contributing factor" to COVID's decline, but not the whole story.

 

young doctor giving middle-aged woman a covid vaccine
Shutterstock/Halfpoint

Cuomo began the interview by inquiring about the current impact of the vaccine rollout, asking Fauci whether or not he believes that vaccines are the "single factor responsible for the drop in cases."

Fauci replied that he believes the recent decline in new cases is due to "a combination of a number of things," including a natural decline following the "steep inflection upward" brought on by the holiday season, people exercising more caution, and the introduction of vaccines. He described the factors as "complex" and "multi-faceted," saying the vaccines are a contributing factor, but not the whole picture.

The "wait and see" approach to vaccination won't work.

 

Doctor preparing COVID vaccine
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Asked what he thinks of people who are planning to "wait and see" how the vaccine plays out before receiving one, Fauci did not mince words. "What they're thinking is exactly opposite of what they should be doing," he said.

He argued that even if new variants render the current vaccines somewhat less effective, that only makes it more important to "prime" your immune system with a base layer of antibodies against the virus using the shots we have available. Even if a vaccine isn't specifically tailored to new issues brought on by mutations, having higher antibody titers will only benefit you, Fauci says.

"The more people that get vaccinated, the better off you are. The higher your titer of antibody, the better off you are" he added. And to learn more about the vaccines, These Are the Side Effects of the New Johnson & Johnson Vaccine, FDA Says.

We need to vaccinate now in order to stop new mutations.

 

A young man receives a COVID vaccine from a healthcare worker
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Fauci also pointed out that if people are considering skipping the vaccine because of new mutations, they're actually allowing even more mutations to develop and spread in the meantime.

"The best way to prevent the emergence of further variants is to stop the replication of the virus," he said. "Viruses don't mutate unless they're spreading. If you can stop their spread, you have two things in your favor: one, less people get infected; and two, you give the virus less chance to mutate," he added.

The New York variant is "worrisome."

 

The skyline of New York City at sunset, with the Empire State Building and Midtown West in view
iStock

Asked whether the newest variant originating in New York is cause for concern, Fauci admitted that he found it "worrisome." "It's something you really want to pay attention to," he said.

While at present, our best defense from COVID mutations is to increase antibody levels with the current vaccines, he mentioned that it is feasible that one or more companies could develop specific vaccines to counter the South African variant, which has so far proven the greatest challenge. Even then, he says, you shouldn't plan to wait for a more evolved vaccine—you should focus on getting all the antibodies you can now. "Everything you throw at us about a mutant is going to be countered with vaccination," he said. And for more from Fauci, check out Dr. Fauci Said He Had Pain in These 2 Places After the COVID Vaccine.

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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