Dr. Fauci is hopeful when it comes to the end of the pandemic but that is not to say that we are out of the woods as of now.
During a new statement via NPR from the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, he said that “Things are going in the right direction.”
The hopeful words come after the cases, hospitalizations as well as the deaths have all been going down in numbers lately.
This is definitely very good news given the fact that the virus has killed no less than 750,000 American citizens since the pandemic started almost 2 years ago.
Aside from the loss of human life, COVID-19 has also overwhelmed hospitals all over the country and has also affected many both mentally and economically.
And, as mentioned before, just because things are getting a bit better, that’s not to say that it’s all over.
Fauci stated that “The steepness of the deflection is not as good as it was, let’s say, a month or so ago.”
He went on to mention that there were bigger “10%, 15%, 20%” drops in cases in previous weeks.
Instead, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there was only a slight drop of 1.4 percent in the last week of October.
This is worrisome for experts who believe that it is possible for the number of cases to start increasing once more, especially since winter is coming and more and more people will be gathering indoor to celebrate the holidays together, leading to a higher transmission rate.
So what are the two main solutions to keep the pandemic at bay according to Dr. Fauci?
First of all, he recommends that in case you haven’t received the vaccine already, to do it as soon as possible!
“We can get through this if we put a lot of effort into getting as many people vaccinated as we possibly can,” Dr. Fauci shared via NPR.
Sure enough, the Pfizer vaccine has been authorized by the FDA for no less than 28 million kids of ages between 5 and 11 years old.
Before recently, those under the age of 12 were not eligible to receive the shot but further research has determined that it’s not only safe (in a smaller dose), but also recommended since the Delta variant is much more transmissible to the young generation than the initial form of the virus.
In the meantime, however, only 58.5 percent of teenagers and adults over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated, as per CDC data.
About this situation Dr. Fauci said that “We have adolescents who we have already started some months prior to vaccinate, but we need to do better with them. We have about 60 plus million people in the country who are eligible for vaccination who haven’t yet been vaccinated.”
Another way to curb the pandemic is by offering better treatment options to those already infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Thankfully, there is a promising pill by Pfizer known as Paxlovid.
“It’s a pill that’s given early—within 5 days but preferably within 3 days—of the onset of symptoms. And what it did is that it diminished the likelihood that you’d have a hospitalization by 89% in the placebo versus the drug group and by about 85% if you started within 5 days. It is really quite promising,” Dr. Fauci explained.
And that is not the only medication option since Merck has also made an anti-COVID pill named molnupiravir.
The company claims that it is able to reduce hospitalizations for COVID-19 complications to half the current average and the same thing can be said about the deaths of those with underlying health conditions.
For the time being, Merck’s pill is yet to be authorized but the Food and Drug Administration is expected to meet up and discuss it on November 30.
As for Pfizer’s pill, a date for authorization discussions is yet to be set but one of their representatives in the United Kingdom has announced that Paxlovid could become available at the beginning of next year!
It has to be noted that regardless of these pills’ success in treating COVID, the need for vaccination will still remain.
Dr. Fauci explained why that is, saying that “It is always, always better not to get infected than to get infected. It’s always, always better to prevent it than have to worry about treating it.”
He also said that, at the end of the day, the main goal when it comes to the pandemic is to have “a level of control” over it so that the virus “does not disrupt society the way the COVID outbreak is currently doing with us. You want to get deaths and hospitalizations as low as you possibly can. You get there by getting cases lower.”
Finally, he stressed that the best way to do just that is by getting more individuals vaccinated: “We know that vaccination—even when it does not always prevent infection, it goes a long way to preventing the progression to more severe disease.”