When White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned in 2020 that living with the coronavirus was going to be our new normal, he meant it.
“We’re not going to eradicate the virus from the face of the Earth,” Fauci told Yahoo Finance in a recent interview. “I don’t believe we’re even going to eliminate it from this country to the tune of getting zero cases.”
Despite earlier estimates pointing to a possible end to the pandemic by 2024, along with assumptions that all countries would be fully vaccinated by then, poor adherence to vaccinations and public health mitigation measures has resulted in an ongoing pandemic that is nowhere near under control.
Just 67.4% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated, and only 48.5% of those fully vaccinated have received their first booster dose, according to the CDC’s latest data.
The constant mutation of the virus has only exacerbated the issue as it has continued to circulate the globe. Other viruses like measles, smallpox, and polio don’t have such quick mutations even after decades — which is why it has been easy to keep them from spreading widely through childhood vaccinations.
Instead, Fauci, who also serves as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), hopes that at least by 2024, the circulation of the virus is low enough “that it does not disrupt … the economy, our ability to interact socially with each other, schools, and things like that.”
The updated COVID-19 booster is now available at the Wayne County Health Department. All individuals over the age of 12 years are eligible to receive an updated COVID-19 booster if they have completed the primary series and it has been at least two months since their last COVID-19 vaccine.
“Vaccination remains the best protection we have against COVID-19,” said Director Devin Ezell of the Wayne County Health Department. “Anyone eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, including the updated booster dose, should do so.”
Parents and caregivers are encouraged to talk with their health care providers regarding vaccination for themselves and their children. The updated COVID-19 vaccine booster increases protection against the virus variants currently circulating, and is both safe and effective.
For information about the updated COVID-19 vaccine boosters call the Wayne County Health Department at 931-722-3292.
More information on COVID-19 is available at https://covid19.tn.gov/.