Fauci Says U.S. Could Return To Normal By Spring 2022 — If Vaccinations Go Up

The United States can regain some normalcy if more Americans are vaccinated against Covid-19 over the next few months, White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday to CNN. However, another variant could emerge if the virus continues to spread, he warned.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top infectious disease expert, responds to Sen. Rand Paul's accusations during a hearing at Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Getty Images

The Key Facts

CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 predicted that millions of Americans will get immunized. Monday's Food and Drug Administration approval of Pfizers coronavirus vaccination was a vote of confidence. This could encourage more schools and employers to require vaccinations. Fauci believes that an increase in vaccinations could provide broad protection against Covid-19 for the U.S. by next spring. This will allow people to safely return home to their favorite restaurants and theatres. Fauci said that the coronavirus contagious, new delta variant of coronavirus has caused an increase in infections and delayed a complete return to normalcy. He also noted that the virus could continue evolving if there are not enough people vaccinated. Fauci has previously suggested that the target date is early 2022. In February, Fauci predicted a return of normality by the beginning of next year. In May, Fauci said that the United States could be back to normal by Mother's Day 2022, which falls in May.

Important Quote

Fauci said that this is a very clever virus. This virus could continue to develop if we don't get those people vaccinated.

What we don't know

Fauci stated that it is not clear how many Americans need to be vaccinated in order for the country to reach herd immunity. This is the threshold at which the coronavirus cannot spread as efficiently due to the fact that so many people are already immune. Fauci had previously offered estimates that ranged from 70% to 85%, before the delta variant was discovered.

Important Background

According to CDC data, 71.1% of Americans aged 12 or older are at least partially vaccinated for Covid-19. This means that tens of millions of people are still not protected. Although daily vaccinations have increased slightly over the past week, they are still far below their springtime peak. This puts some communities at risk of Covid-19 spikes. President Joe Biden praised Monday's FDA approval of Pfizers vaccine and said it was a turning point in immunization efforts. He encouraged people not vaccinated to get them vaccinated immediately and asked employers to mandate that their employees get vaccinated.

Big Number

31%. This is the percentage of Americans unvaccinated who said to the Kaiser Family Foundation that they are more likely than others to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, if it's fully approved.

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Will Pfizers' Full FDA Approval Persuade People to Get Vaccinated According to Forbes, polling suggests it will (Forbes).