Fauci: Keep wearing masks as vaccines roll out

Coronavirus

President Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Bethesda, Md. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens at right. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON – Dr. Anthony Fauci said people will need to wear masks “for several, several months” to avoid the coronavirus as vaccinations are rolled out.

The government’s top infectious disease expert said on Friday by the time 75% to 80% of the population is vaccinated, “the level of virus in the community could be so low that you could start pulling back a bit on what are stringent public health measures.”

But Fauci said any relaxing of safety measures needs to be done “prudently and gradually.”

U.S. government researchers have found that two masks are better than one in slowing the spread of the coronavirus, but health officials have stopped short of recommending everyone double up.

Fauci said the U.S. has contracted for 600 million vaccine doses, enough to vaccinate everyone with two doses. He says as spring turns into summer, everyone should be eligible to receive a vaccine.

Fauci says, “As we go from April to May to June and then hopefully by July, we’ll be at that point where we have enough vaccine for virtually everyone.”

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