April 13, 2021 -- Anthony Fauci, MD, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said his behavior hasn’t changed much now that he’s fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Insider.
Fauci hosts small gatherings at his home but still won’t go to crowded indoor locations where people don’t wear masks. He also isn’t planning any travel.
Before vaccination, Fauci and his wife would only meet with their neighbors next door. And even then, the households would follow social distancing guidelines, wear masks, and meet outdoors, including the cold winters months. After vaccination, he and his neighbors moved indoors.
“We feel very comfortable in the house with no masks, and we can have physical contact and things like that,” Fauci told Insider.
But he said he won’t eat indoors at a restaurant or go to a movie theater.
“I don’t think I would -- even if I’m vaccinated -- go into an indoor, crowded place where people are not wearing masks,” Fauci said.
He doesn’t plan to travel or go on vacation anytime soon either.
“I don’t really see myself going on any fun trips for a while,” he said.
Fauci’s cautious actions stem from the “interesting crossroads” that the U.S. faces right now, he told the news outlet. More people are getting COVID-19 vaccines, but cases are increasing in several states, particularly in the Midwest.
In Michigan, for instance, the average number of daily cases has quadrupled during the past month, Insider reported. Across the country, the 7-day average is about 65,000 new cases per day, which has increased since mid-March.
“It’s kind of a race between the vaccine and the possibility that there’ll be another surge,” Fauci said.
The U.S. has shipped more than 237 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, and more than 120 million people have received at least one shot, according to the latest CDC tally updated on Monday. More than 74 million people, or about 22% of the population, are considered fully vaccinated.
Until more people get vaccinated and case numbers drop again, Fauci said, his day-to-day life will remain nearly the same as before he got vaccinated. If the current daily vaccination rates continue, the country could reach a threshold for herd immunity by June, Insider reported.
“If we could just hold on for a while,” Fauci said, “we’ll reach a point where the protection of the general community by the vaccine would really make it very unlikely that we’re going to have another surge.”