U.S. may need COVID-19 booster shots and wearing masks again: Fauci
Updated 15:02, 26-Jul-2021
People walk along a main street in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York City, U.S., July 22, 2021 /CFP

People walk along a main street in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York City, U.S., July 22, 2021 /CFP

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is weighing revising its COVID-19 guidelines to recommend that even fully vaccinated people wear masks in public, said Anthony Fauci, White House chief medical advisor, on Sunday. 

Fauci told CNN that he has taken part in conversations about altering the guidelines, something he described as being "under active consideration." 

He noted that some local areas where infection rates are surging are already urging individuals to wear masks in public regardless of their vaccination status. 

He also said Americans who are immune-compromised may end up needing COVID-19 vaccine booster shots as the United States deals with increasing cases from the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations continue to increase among the unvaccinated across the United States. 

Health experts have blamed the recent surges on the low vaccination rates and the accelerating Delta variant transmission.

Fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant, the current COVID-19 surge will steadily accelerate and continue through the summer and fall, peaking in mid-October, with death toll more than tripling the current figure, according to National Public Radio (NPR). 

New projections were released Wednesday from the COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub, a group of researchers working in consultation with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help the agency track the course of the pandemic. 

According to the projections, there would be around 60,000 cases and around 850 deaths each day at the peak in mid-October in the most likely scenario, Justin Lessler, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina who helps run the modeling hub, was quoted by NPR as saying.

Lessler said there's a lot of uncertainty in these projections and that how things actually play out depends on lots of factors, including whether the vaccination campaign picks up steam and whether other mitigation measures are put back into place.

(With input from agencies)

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