Former CDC director predicts gloomy COVID future: ‘We’re in for a rough couple of months’

Herd immunity ‘not operational’ for COVID-19 prevention: Former CDC director

Former CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield addresses management of the ongoing pandemic.

As the omicron variant rolls through the United States and vaccination status lags, former CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield warned "Cavuto: Coast to Coast" that it won’t be smooth sailing in the near future.

ROBERT REDFIELD: We're clearly going to be in for a tough couple — I think — a couple of months with the omicron variant coming, which is much more transmissible, replicates at a higher rate. So I just think trying to get people vaccinated, maintaining their vaccine status, getting boosted and then trying to bring in different mitigation steps, which masking is critical. The other one that I think is underutilized is to take advantage of routine testing in these circumstances where people are actually tested, say, once or twice a week, so you can understand who is silently infected and get them out of the transmission pool…

The reality is that this virus, when you get naturally infected with it, you don't develop longterm immunity. And once that was figured out, one could anticipate when you get vaccinated, you're not going to develop long-term immunity. So the challenge that we have is that this issue that some people felt early on that once we got to some threshold of immunity and they called it herd immunity, that we could get this behind us. The reality is that herd immunity is not operational for this virus and that we're going to continue to have a group of individuals that are susceptible. They get infected, they get vaccinated. The vaccine then wears off. It wanes. They either need to get re-vaccinated or they become susceptible or if they're naturally infected, that immunity wears off and they either need to get vaccinated or they become susceptible. 

So this is going to be a real challenge for the next several years while we try to maintain the population so that the population is protected. And the strength of that protection is going to be recurrent vaccination. 

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Former CDC Director: ‘We’re in for a rough couple months’ with omicron

Former CDC Director Robert Redfield argues mitigation steps, including wearing masks, maintaining vaccine status, and getting booster shots, will be ‘critical’ to alleviate risks associated with the new COVID variant.

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