COVID-19

What Dr. Fauci Is, and Is Not, Doing Now That He's Fully Vaccinated for COVID-19

Even if you are vaccinated, there's still a risk that you could transmit the virus to someone who is not vaccinated

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In January, Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House Chief Medical Advisor, received his second dose of Moderna's vaccine, making him fully vaccinated against COVID-19. So what does he do in his daily life since getting vaccinated?

Here's what Fauci told NBC's WRC-TV in Washington D.C. about his current routine and interactions on Tuesday.

He has guests who are vaccinated, but is still 'very careful'

Fauci, who is 80, said that his home life is mostly restricted to him and his wife, Christine Grady, who is a nurse bioethicist, and has so far received one dose of the vaccine.

"If we have someone in the house that would be a non-occupant of the house, it's somebody that we know has either been vaccinated or tests themselves very, very frequently," he told WRC-TV. "So, we're still very careful."

Fauci has not said whether guests have included any of his three adult children, who live in different parts of the country, and whom he did not see for the holidays as a safety precaution. But Fauci did tell CNN's Dana Bash on Sunday that "my children, when they get vaccinated, obviously I look forward to seeing them. And I'm sure that by that time recommendations will come out to guide us in a more precise way."

Currently, experts say that people who are fully vaccinated can form "immunity bubbles," or clusters of people who have received both doses of vaccine.

"If you are vaccinated, and you are with someone who's vaccinated, the things that you can do are much, much more liberal in the sense of pulling back on stringent public health measures, versus when you're out in society," Fauci told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Feb. 18. He said that if members of the same household are vaccinated, they can hug and do not need to wear masks together.

There's less of a risk that a pod of vaccinated people would get severely ill from COVID-19, but given the more contagious coronavirus variants and questions about whether the vaccines provide protection, it's still important to maintain social distance and wear masks in public. Even if you are vaccinated, there's still a risk that you could transmit the virus to someone who is not vaccinated.

He doesn't eat at restaurants, but picks up take out

Although indoor dining is allowed at reduced capacity in many states, even after being vaccinated, Fauci said he still doesn't eat at restaurants. Eating indoors at a restaurant is considered "higher risk," even if the tables are spread out and capacity is reduced, according to the CDC.

Fauci does, however, get takeout to support local restaurants. "We can cook at home every night, but we just go out deliberately to get takeout, at least a few times a week, maybe more," he said.

He's not flying yet

Fauci said that he's not flying "for a number of reasons."

For starters, "I'm at the age that is still at a pretty high risk." Resuming travel is "not going to be like a light switch that you turn on and off," he said.

The CDC recommends that people delay travel during the pandemic.

He's still wearing masks in public

"I have not really changed much in my public health measures that I abide by," Fauci told WRC-TV.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that even vaccinated people continue to follow the safety measures aimed at stopping the spread.

Moderna's vaccine is shown to be 94.1% effective at preventing COVID-19 after the second dose. The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine is 95% effective after two doses. But there hasn't been enough data to show that the vaccines prevent transmission of the virus.

So, while getting vaccinated provides a degree of protection, it doesn't mean that you can abandon public health measures in public, like wearing a mask or maintaining social distance.

He could be doing a lot more by fall

Fauci said that if there's an umbrella of herd immunity by the fall, "we really will be approaching normal," meaning people could safely dine indoors, go to the theater or movies and attend indoor sporting events.

So far, 19.44 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated for Covid, meaning they've received both doses, according to Our World in Data.

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