NEW YORK — As the world continues to be plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic, the country is hit with another wave of cases due to the highly contagious omicron variant.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on the PIX11 Morning News that “worse is what we’re going to be seeing” in terms of a spike in cases. He said there is an average of close to 400,000 cases per day, and expects infections to “continue to go up at least a few hundred thousand per day more.”
Though millions have already received the COVID-19 vaccine, some of those vaccinated have not received the booster and have tested positive.
When asked how long they should wait to get boosted after getting infected, Fauci said there is “no definitive time,” but it should be anywhere between 30 and 90 days.
“You don’t want to get boosted right away because you still have in your immune system mature in its response to the original infection,” said Fauci.
However, Fauci clarified the recommended time between the original vaccination and booster. Those who received the mRNA Pfizer or Moderna vaccine should get their booster shot six months after their second dose, while those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should get boosted two months later.
Even after getting the booster shot, Dr. Fauci advised that people can still get infected with COVID. He also noted that studies show that people who have been infected with either the delta or beta variant are getting reinfected with the omicron variant, however they are showing low levels of symptoms.
The infectious disease expert said there is no actual timeline on how quickly a person could get reinfected with COVID, but added a person’s immune system is “strong enough in response” that they will be protected.
Fauci urged those who are not vaccinated to get the vaccine as they are currently the most vulnerable group. He also said that those who are vaccinated should get the booster shot as it provides optimal protection against COVID-19.
Though Fauci did not technically say if there should be more vaccine mandates, he did say that mandates work and it is critical for more people to get vaccinated.
“You don’t like to mandate people to do things, but sometimes you have to sacrifice people’s individual feeling of somebody telling them what they need to do when you have the communal and public health of the entire nation at stake,” he said.
Fauci did say that additional vaccine mandates are being discussed, but “no decision has been made.”