Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday said vaccinated people should still wear a mask to avoid “inadvertently” spreading the coronavirus or becoming sick themselves — though he acknowledged the risk was “very low.”
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said it’s still possible for fully vaccinated people to contract the virus.
“What happens is that you might get infected and get absolutely no symptoms, not know you’re infected, and then inadvertently go into a situation with vulnerable people,” Fauci said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“And if you don’t have a mask, you might inadvertently infect them. Now, there’s a small risk of that, but it’s there.”
In a separate interview, Fauci said there’s also a risk posed by new variants, some of which may be more resistant to vaccines.
“There are variants that are circulating and although they’re unusual, we are seeing breakthrough infections,” Fauci said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” referring to the term for cases of fully vaccinated people who still test positive for COVID-19..
“So we don’t want people to think that you don’t dramatically diminish your risk. When you get vaccinated you absolutely do. The risk is very low, and people will make decisions about what they want to do,” he added.