Earlier this year COVID-19 infections were dropping, but the current summer surge and a spike in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across the country might leave you wondering if the pandemic will ever end.
One of nation's top infectious disease experts Dr. Anthony Fauci says it is possible to gain control over the virus if certain steps are taken and vaccination milestones are met.
“This is a very wily virus,” he said on CNN. “If we keep lingering without getting those people vaccinated that should be vaccinated, this thing could linger on, leading to the development of another variant, which could complicate things.“
The Chief Medical Advisor to the President and the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease warns life may not return to some version of normal until next year, possibly in the spring.
"[The country] could start to get some good control in the spring of 2022,” he theorized, explaining this might be possible if the unvaccinated step up and get their shots. “We could start getting back to a degree of normality. There’s no guarantee because it’s up to us.”
CNN reports more than 71 percent of eligible Americans 12 and older have received at least 1 dose of a vaccine, but are estimated to be around 90 million people in the country who have not been vaccinated.
Dr. Fauci told CBS News the recent FDA approval of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine will likely boost the number of people who get vaccinated, as one report found up to 30 percent of those who have held out on getting the shot have been waiting for the FDA to issue an approval. He also told CBS News a possible spring 2022 timeline will only occur if enough people who have not got their shots finally receive them.
Full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine, and the likelihood that Moderna and Johnson & Johnson will also get an FDA approval soon, has already lead to numerous vaccine mandates from some of the biggest employers, universities, school districts, and event spaces, a development that may also inspire unvaccinated individuals to get their shots.
Find out where to get your free COVID-19 vaccine, here or search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you in the U.S.