Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States' top infectious diseases expert, advised on Sunday continued protections including wearing masks and following social distancing guidelines after a COVID-19 vaccine is distributed.

Masks, Social Distancing Should Still Continue

CNN's Jake Tapper asked Fauci on "State of the Union" if "once the process is complete, does that mean [people] can take off their masks, they don't have to social distance, they can just go about their lives as before?" reported The Hill.

Fauci answered that even after a new novel coronavirus vaccine becomes widely available, US citizens must not plan on discontinuing mitigating practices including face masks and physical distancing.

According to the 81-year-old immunologist, "I would recommend to people to not to abandon all public health measures just because you've been vaccinated. Because even though for the general population it might be 90 to 95 percent effective, you don't necessarily know for you how effective it is," reported DISRN.

The tabulation of US coronavirus cases reported to date surpassed 11 million on Sunday, a week after reaching the 10 million mark. The total of fatalities now stands at over 245,000. reported The Washington Post.

The World Health Organization (WHO) director-general remarked their agency is very concerned by the surge of cases of the virus, specifically in Europe and North America, and added that health workers and systems are being tested with their limits.

The nation's best infectious disease expert stated news from Moderna that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate is 94.5% effective is laudable.

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The chief of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases also remarked Moderna's finding, alongside similar results from Pfizer last week for its COVID-19 vaccine "is something that foretells an impact on this outbreak," reported AP.

Fauci thinks the US could start returning to relative normality by April or July 2021. He believes it would be possible to achieve by the second or third quarter of 2021. He remarked when US citizens could gather again is dependent on a number of factors.

According to Fauci, "I would recommend to people to not to abandon all public health measures just because you've been vaccinated." He added that despite the 90 to 95 percent reported effectiveness, "you don't necessarily know for you how effective it is," reported TDS.

He cautioned that returning to normalcy is not a "light switch" even when a vaccine is received by the public.

He remarked with 90-plus percent effectiveness of a vaccine, one could feel confident. The nation is working with a portfolio of six potential vaccines, utilizing three different platform technologies and two candidates from each platform: live viral vectors, messenger RNA, and recombinant protein.

Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca in partnership with Oxford University are on the live vector path, Moderna and Pfizer use the messenger RNA platform, and Novavax and Sanofi/ GlaxoSmithKline are creating their vaccine candidates on the recombinant protein platform.

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