“It’s almost a race between getting people vaccinated and this surge that looks set to increase,” Fauci said, noting that Europe is experiencing a peak just like the one experts are worried about for the United States.
The United States is vaccinating people fast, with just over 33% of the population – over 109 million people – having received at least one dose of the vaccine and all 50 states have pledged to open up vaccination to all adults. by April 19.
But the pace of getting vaccines into the arms of Americans will have to continue to rise now that the variant of the virus first identified in the UK, known to be more transmissible and considered more deadly, is the most deadly strain. common in the United States, Walensky. said.
To combat the variant, Fauci urged Americans to get vaccinated and stick to preventative measures.
“Hang in there a little longer,” he said. “Now is not the time, as I have said so many times, to declare victory prematurely.”
The cases are younger
Recent infections have been directed towards younger people, a factor that Fauci says can be attributed in part to the fact that so many older people are vaccinated.
Fauci noted that more than 75% of people aged 65 and over had received at least one injection of the Covid-19 vaccine in the United States.
He said a number of factors are at play, including clusters of cases in daycares and school sports teams – where people are in close contact and sometimes do not wear masks – and variant B.1.1 .7.
“I think that’s what explains these outbreaks among young people,” he said.
As cases are reaching young Americans, many schools are expanding access to full in-person learning. About three-quarters of US public schools are open for full-time in-person or hybrid learning.
Among 4th graders nationwide, 39% attend full-time in-person school and 29% of 8th grade students, according to data released Wednesday by the Department of Education’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
Students returning to school are not yet eligible for vaccines, although studies will hopefully show the effectiveness of vaccinations in children as young as six months in the coming months, Fauci said.
Until then, students under the age of 16 should continue to wear masks, avoiding close contact and avoiding indoor environments, Fauci said.
Risks and benefits of the vaccine
As the United States rushes to vaccinate people, experts and officials grapple with adverse reactions believed to be linked to some vaccines.
Operations were halted at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Colo. On Wednesday after health officials reported 11 vaccinated people became ill.
These patients presented with symptoms such as nausea and dizziness and were taken to a local hospital for observation as a precaution, according to a press release from the Colorado State Joint Information Center.
While the cases may appear concerning, state officials said they had no reason to believe those vaccinated at the center should be concerned.
“The state has no reason to believe that people who were vaccinated today at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park should be affected,” state officials said.
“From what we know, the side effects today were consistent with what one would expect,” Scott Bookman, COVID-19 incident commander said in the press release. “Getting the vaccine is much safer than getting seriously ill with COVID-19.”
Amanda Sealy, Ben Tinker, Lauren Mascarenhas, Betsy Klein, Elizabeth Stuart, Joe Sutton, Richard Greene, and Schams Elwazer contributed to this report.