Dr. Fauci hopes Black Americans will get their updated COVID-19 booster shots sooner rather than later — as they are a particularly vulnerable community.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently the importance of the Black community preparing to combat an expected surge in COVID cases later this year.
The high-ranking official shared that the Food and Drug Administration “will soon authorize a an updated booster shot, known as the bivalent BA.5 vaccine,” NBC News reports.
Notably, the BA.5 vaccine is supposed to better protect those who receive it from Omicron variants of COVID.
The pending vaccine may be available as soon as September.
Fauci’s Message To Black Americans
Fauci told The Grio in an interview published on Aug. 17 that if one wants to “diminish their risk of infection and severe disease, [they should] stay heads up for the availability of this updated bivalent BA.5 vaccine.”
“African Americans — as a group — generally are employed in jobs that put them out into society in contact with individuals where the risk of getting infected is greater than someone who can actually do their job behind a computer screen or in front of a Zoom,” Fauci emphasized.
Noting that Black Americans also disproportionally face many health issues and underlying conditions, the health official reiterated that those liabilities could heighten one’s chance of getting infected or suffering severe outcomes.
“If you look at the infection rate now as late into the summer as mid-August, we’re still seeing well over 100,000 documented cases every day,” said Fauci. “And since so many people get infected and get the home test and never report that they’re infected, the actual number of infections is probably multifold, more than just 100,000 a day.”
Fauci hopes for an uptick in vaccinations, which may raise herd immunity.
If the latter happens, the virus “doesn’t have [to have] a significant impact on our lifestyle the way COVID has over the last two and a half years,” Fauci noted.