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Fauci Says With Variants, End Of Pandemic Not Clear

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks with Midday's Tom Hall. Credit: Midday WYPR
Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks with Tom Hall.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said with the rise of COVID-19 variants like Delta, it’s not clear when we can put the pandemic behind us.

Speaking with Midday’s Tom Hall, Fauci said he can’t pin down a vaccination rate right now for when this pandemic will be over.

“We don't know what percentage of unvaccinated people in the country would allow the virus to continue to circulate enough to be able to evolve, mutate even more, so that it then negatively impacts even the vaccinated people,” he said.

Fauci said a national vaccine mandate would be counterproductive, but that it's reasonable to consider mandates at local levels, in workplaces and colleges, for example.

He also thinks that it will be easier to implement these mandates once the FDA fully authorizes the COVID-19 vaccine, and that residents will be less hesitant.

The vaccine is currently administered under emergency use authorization.

Tom Hall’s full interview with Fauci is scheduled to air Wednesday, July 21, and is available now online at WYPR.org.

Sarah Y. Kim is WYPR’s health and housing reporter. Kim is WYPR's Report for America corps member, and Anthony Brandon Fellow. Kim joined WYPR as a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. Now in her second year as an RFA corps member, Kim is based in Baltimore City.