The holidays are here again, and the coronavirus is still swirling in the air. But Dr. Anthony Fauci said getting the COVID-19 vaccine frees you up to spend time with your family.

  • “If you’re vaccinated and your family members are vaccinated ... you can enjoy the holidays. You can enjoy Halloween, trick-or-treating, and certainly Thanksgiving with your family and Christmas with your family,” Fauci said on ABC News’ “This Week.”

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the holidays remind us why the COVID-19 vaccine is so important, too.

  • “That’s one of the reasons why we emphasize why it’s so important to get vaccinated not only for your own safety, for that of your family, but also for the good of the community to keep the level of infection down,” he said on ABC News’ “This Week.” “When you do that there’s no reason at all why you can’t enjoy the holidays ... the way we’ve traditionally done it all along.”

Earlier this month, Fauci suggested in an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” that it might be too early to tell what the holiday season will look like in regards to COVID-19.

  • “We’ve just got to concentrate on continuing to get those numbers down, and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we’re going to do at a particular time,” he said. “Let’s focus like a laser on continuing to get those cases down, and we can do it by people getting vaccinated and also in the situation where boosters are appropriate to get people boosted.”
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But experts have suggested that much of the population will have some sort of immunity to COVID-19 by the Thanksgiving holiday. In fact, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, suggested the U.S. might reach 90% immunity by Thanksgiving due to vaccination and natural immunity from infection, paving the way for a safe holiday season.

  • The delta wave of the coronavirus, he said, might finish its surge by then, too.
  • “I think by Thanksgiving you’ll see it run its course,” he told CNN.
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