Dr. Fauci Stresses Need For Masks, Public Health Measures Even After Vaccination

uscoronavirus sept25 lt

As the coronavirus cases in the United States move closer to 7 million, the country's top infectious disease expert warned not to downplay the relevance of current public health measures such as wearing a mask, social distancing and washing hands even if an effective Covid-19 vaccine is developed and distributed nationwide.

"I think if we can get 75 to 80 percent of the population vaccinated, I think that would be a really good accomplishment," Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a Facebook Live chat with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Thursday. However, "It is not going to eliminate the need to be prudent and careful with our public health measures," according to Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head Robert Redfield said he expects that about 700 million doses of vaccines will be available by April next year, which is enough to reach 350 million people.

The vaccine does not guarantee 100 percent effectiveness and cover the entire American population, according to Fauci.

He also warned that the United States has not yet passed its first wave of the pandemic, and that it should be prepared for the challenge of fall and winter.

With 919 additional deaths reporting in the last 24 hours, coronavirus death toll in the United States reached 202819, as per Johns Hopkins University's latest data. With the addition of 44,669 coronavirus-related cases in the same period, total number of infections in the country reached 6978873.

CNN reported that at least 21 states - mostly across the U.S. heartland and Midwest - are reporting rise in cases when compared to the previous week.

South Dakota and North Dakota were the worst-affected states. South Dakota reported 166 percent increase in cases in the past four weeks as compared to the four weeks before that.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there will be up to 226,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by October.

The University of Washington's School of Medicine updated its projection that an average of 3,000 coronavirus deaths a day could occur in the country by end of the year.

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