US officials can hold off on requirements for vaccine for US-based flights for now, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said in a White House press briefing on Wednesday that he and his colleagues don't feel that it's necessary to require vaccines to fly domestically.
The US broke the daily record for reported COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, with the more transmissible Omicron variant now accounting for half of the cases. Air travel for the holiday season is higher than last year, with over 1 million people a day taking to the skies.
Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, appeared on ABC News' "This Week" earlier this week and suggested that a vaccine mandate for US-bound air travel would help spur more people to get vaccine.
Fauci said that the masking requirements and degree of filters on a plane is enough to keep people safe.
Fauci said that people are required to be fully vaccined for international flights to keep infections from spreading in the US. The CDC says travelers from abroad must wear masks on planes and present a negative COVID test.
President Joe Biden said earlier this month that a domestic flight mandate was not needed at the moment. In November, Pete Buttigieg said that a domestic air travel mandate wasn't necessary and that effective mitigation strategies on planes were needed.
Fauci said that safety standards are discussed on a daily and weekly basis and that if there is a need to do more beyond this masking, we will seriously consider that. "It's just keeping an open mind that the situation may change."