Dr. Fauci: More Challenges For Vaccines Ahead In The Next 100 Days

Dr. Anthony Fauci tells Newsy, "If you really want to be free of the constraints, get vaccinated."

Dr. Fauci: More Challenges For Vaccines Ahead In The Next 100 Days
Patrick Semansky // ASSOCIATED PRESS

One hundred days into his administration, President Biden has blown past his benchmarks for COVID-19 vaccinations. 

Now, the U.S. top expert on infectious diseases tells Newsy there's real hope that by the end of the next 100 days life could be looking a lot more like it used to. 

"I would hope that we are going to see ourselves in that real pathway, recognizable pathway towards normality, not necessarily all the way there. I don't think that's going to happen for a while, but at least it will be noticeably on that pathway," White House Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said. 

But experts warn the next steps in the battle against COVID won't get any easier. 

The drop in new cases is plateauing and vaccination supply seems to be outpacing demand.

The CDC's latest 7-day average for vaccinations is just over 2.5 million doses, that's down from over 3 million two weeks ago. 

Fauci says the downturn is normal as more older and vulnerable people are being vaccinated and younger, less eager people become eligible for jabs. 

"What that means is that we have to — and are putting in — an extra special effort to extend ourselves out to the people who want to get vaccinated but are not. They needed a little push or people who are still skeptical about it and you want to turn them around," he said. 

The Biden administration says it's taking steps to make it easier for working Americans to get vaccinated.  Last week, President Biden offered U.S. businesses tax incentives to give their workers paid time off to get the shot and recover from any side effects.

"No working American should lose a single dollar from their paycheck because they chose to fulfil their patriotic duty of getting vaccinated," President Biden said in remarks on vaccinations at the White House last week. 

But some public health experts say the White House could go a step further by encouraging private companies to incentivize younger Americans to get vaccinated with perks.

 "I think we're going to have to get really creative and essentially reward people for getting vaccinated," said Dr. Jesse Goodman, professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Georgetown University and former chief scientist at the FDA.

That could include businesses giving out freebies to vaccinated customers, or special sections at sporting events or music venues for people who have gotten their jabs.

But skepticism is also a major problem. Recent polling from NPR and Marist shows 25% of Americans say they won't get vaccinated. Hesitancy is particularly high among those living in rural areas.  

Fauci says he's confident that more people will get shots when they see others in their community rolling up their sleeves but if current levels remain the same, restrictions on social gatherings, and indoor mask requirements are here to stay. 

"If you really want to be free of the constraints, get vaccinated," Fauci said.