Dr. Anthony Fauci breaks down latest on COVID pandemic and when it will be over

ByCourtney Carpenter KTRK logo
Friday, October 29, 2021
Fauci breaks down latest on COVID pandemic and when it will be over
COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are trending down across the country but Dr. Anthony Fauci says we should declare victory yet.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- ABC13 spoke one-on-one with our nation's leading COVID expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, getting answers on the latest with vaccines and kids. He also shared his thoughts on safely gathering this holiday season, and if he thinks COVID-19 booster vaccines will be recommended every six to eight months.

Q: Is the COVID vaccine safe for 5-11-year-olds?

A: "The FDA, which is our gold standard of regulatory authorities, looked at the data, as did the advisory committee, and looked at its immunogenicity, or its ability to induce a response, that you would predict being protective, as well as the safety. They have determined that the benefit-risk ratio of getting vaccinated, versus the risk of getting COVID-19, clearly weigh very heavily towards the benefit," explained Fauci.

Q: What adverse effect may kids 5-11 experience from the COVID vaccine?

A: "With regard to adverse events a bit later on, you know for younger individuals, particularly young men, there is a very rare event of myocarditis, generally not seen in children 5-11. (It's) usually, in younger men in their late teens and early twenties. So, although that is something you at least keep in mind, that does not seem to be a problem in the age group we are talking about, mainly 5-11," said Fauci.

Q: Can we gather with family and friends safely this holiday season?

A: "It would be perfectly fine in the family gathering or close friends, if you know the vaccination status of individuals, to enjoy Thanksgiving in the home, to enjoy a peaceful, restful, enjoyable Christmas as the holiday season approaches, and even kids going out for Halloween, you know trick-or-treating, that's fine to do that. Just want to make sure that when you are indoors in a congregate setting, in a non-family setting, that you probably should be wearing a mask because you don't know the status of the people in that indoor, congregate setting," explained Fauci.

Q: Will we see a spike in cases due to packed World Series stadiums?

A: "We have not seen spikes associated with large crowds in outdoor settings over the last few months starting with the college and professional football season and the games. So, I don't anticipate that we will be seeing a spike mostly because you are outdoors," said Fauci.

Q: Will booster shots be recommended every 6-8 months?

A: "It remains to be determined whether that booster gives you a much more durable immunity, so I think it would be premature to try and speculate whether or not you should be thinking about maybe a vaccine boost every six to eight months to a year. We don't know that. It is conceivable that the third shot of the mRNA will keep us going for a considerable period of time," explained Fauci.

Q: When will the pandemic be over?

A: "I think that's going to be up to us, when we get more and more people vaccinated. We can end the pandemic in this country by getting the overwhelming proportion of our population vaccinated. Remember, we have about 64 million people thus far ... who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not yet vaccinated. Getting that number down will help us to predict exactly when we can start thinking about normality," said Fauci.