Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that the pause on the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine could be lifted as soon as Friday. Restrictions on its use could be imposed, however, USA Today reports. The nation's top infectious disease expert made the rounds of the Sunday TV talk shows, addressing a series of pandemic issues. Here's a roundup:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration probably won't "just cancel" use of the vaccine over the fear of blood clots. "My estimate is that we will continue to use it in some form," Fauci said on NBC's Meet the Press. There could be "some sort or warning," he said, per CNBC, or guidance to be along the lines of, "OK, we're going to use it but be careful under these certain circumstances."
- Americans should learn whether they'll need another vaccine dose—a booster shot—by late summer or early fall, per the Hill. Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson have all indicated a booster probably will be required six to 12 months after a person has been fully vaccinated. The decision will depend on when immunity begins to fade, Fauci said on ABC's This Week.
- Masks are going to be a good idea for a while, given that vaccinated people could still pass the coronavirus to others without knowing it. Masks should be worn until the level of confirmed coronavirus infections falls significantly or more people are vaccinated, per the Hill. Vaccination doesn't eliminate the risk of becoming infected, Fauci said on Meet the Press, but "you dramatically diminish it." The CDC also recommends continuing to wear a mask, avoiding large crowds, and maintaining social distancing after vaccination.
- "This is a public health issue," Fauci said. "It's not a civil liberties issue." He said he found Rep. Jim Jordan's claims to the contrary when questioning him during a hearing last week frustrating, per the Hill. Jordan said the pandemic restrictions backed by Fauci have trod on First Amendment rights. "I don't enjoy those kind of confrontations," he said on CNN's State of the Union. COVID-19 has killed more than a half-million people in the US. "That's the issue," Fauci said.
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