White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested that face masks and social distancing measures serve as an “added area of protection” even after the public has been vaccinated.
However, Fauci expressed caution when asked by CNN anchor Jake Tapper on Sunday morning’s “State of the Union” about whether people will be able to “go about their lives as before.”
“Once somebody has been immunized … once the process is complete, does that mean they can take off their masks? They don’t have to social distance? They can just go about their lives as before?” Tapper asked.
“You know, I would recommend that that’s not the case,” Fauci responded. “I would recommend you have an added area of protection.”
The White House coronavirus task force member said people can “feel much more confident,” but did not recommend they “abandon all public health measures just because you’ve been vaccinated.”
“Because even though for the general population it might be 90 to 95% effective, you don’t necessarily know for you how effective it is,” he said. (RELATED: ‘You Do The Math’: Vince Coglianese Targets Pfizer’s Timing On COVID-19 Vaccine Announcement)
“So when I get vaccinated, which I hope to when it becomes my turn to get vaccinated, I’m not going to abandon completely public health measures,” Fauci added. “I can feel more relaxed and essentially have the stringency of it that we have right now, but I think abandoning it completely would not be a good idea.”