Anthony Fauci reassures small children with claim to have vaccinated Santa | US news

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Children around the world should not worry about the logistics of Christmas present delivery while the coronavirus pandemic rages, Dr Anthony Fauci said – because he vaccinated Santa himself.

“I took care of that for you,” the top US infectious diseases expert told CNN. “Because I was worried that you’d all be upset.

“So what I did a little while ago, I took a trip up there to the North Pole. I went there and I vaccinated Santa Claus myself. I measured his level of immunity, and he is good to go. He can come down the chimney. He can leave the presents, he can leave, and you have nothing to worry about. Santa Claus is good to go.”

The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has served six presidents since 1984 and will celebrate his 80th birthday on Christmas Eve. Having recently accepted an offer to be chief medical adviser to President-elect Joe Biden, on Saturday he answered children’s questions as part of The ABC of Covid-19, a town hall event held in conjunction with Sesame Street and featuring Big Bird, Elmo, Grover and other beloved characters.

On Friday, a week before Christmas Day, the US approved a second vaccine for Covid-19 and recorded a record number of cases in one day. State healthcare systems are under brutal strain and city and state governments are reimposing social restrictions ahead of a holiday week in which millions are expected to travel, worsening the spread of a virus which has killed more than 313,000 in the US alone.

Asked by one small girl if it would still be possible to visit grandparents over Christmas, Fauci said: “You still need to be careful and wear a mask. Because until we get this blanket of protection over everyone, you can’t be absolutely certain that there isn’t virus there. So vaccines are extremely important to ending this outbreak.”

On Friday, Donald Trump, a president whose behaviour has been widely compared to that of a toddler, both celebrated Food and Drug Administration approval of the Moderna vaccine and retweeted messages claiming mask mandates and social lockdowns do not work.

The federal government aims to have vaccines available to all by the spring or early summer, by which time Trump will be long out of power.

“Until we get the full component of almost everyone vaccinated,” Fauci said, “we cannot abandon the common public health measure of wearing a mask. So yes, you still should be wearing a mask.”

With authorities seeking to persuade Americans vaccines are safe, Vice-President Mike Pence and other public officials have had shots on live TV. Biden will follow on Monday. Trump, who was treated in hospital after contracting Covid-19, has not said he will submit to a vaccination.

Pence told reporters he “didn’t feel a thing”. Fauci said the question “that seems to bother children the most” is whether the vaccine will hurt.

“You know,” he said, “the vaccine shot is in the arm. It’s a pinch. But the pinch lasts really a short time, literally in seconds. And I’ll bet you that after you get vaccinated, when vaccines become available for children or for all children, you’re going to say, ‘You know, it wasn’t that bad at all.’ I’ll guarantee.

“What the ultimate goal of the vaccine is to do is just what one of you had asked, it’s to get rid of Covid-19 completely. And that’s the reason why we want to get as many people as possible to get vaccinated, because once you get the overwhelming majority of the people vaccinated, the level of the virus is going to go down and down and down. And then it’s going to turn out to be no problem.

“So you’re going to be able to do all the things you’ve been asking me about. You’re going to be able to hug, you’re going to be able to kiss, you’re going to be able to have fun with your family.

“But the only way we get there is if we get a broad acceptance of the vaccine. We hope that that’s going to take place maybe over the next several months because … we hope that if we can get back and chat with you, let’s say maybe in the fall and Halloween and say, ‘You know what? There’s no more Covid-19. So we succeeded.’”

Hafta Ichi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Anthony Fauci reassures small children with claim to have vaccinated Santa | US news

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