Dr. Fauci: Double masking is ‘common sense’ to prevent COVID-19 transmission

Dr. Fauci on COVID-19 infections: ‘Things will get worse as we get into January’

‘It just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective.’

— Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on double masking

Dr. Anthony Fauci says two masks are better than one.

“It just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC’s Today Show this week. “That’s the reason why you see people either double masking or doing a version of an N95.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not issued official guidance on double masking. It did not advocate wearing face coverings until April 3 last year to help prevent the wearer from spreading coronavirus, but since then health professionals say it also helps the wearer.

“A mask is like an obstacle course for particles to get through,” Linsey Marr, an expert in virus transmission and a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, told AARP. A second mask “increases the chance that the particle will be trapped before it gets through.”

As of Tuesday, 99.9 million people worldwide had contracted COVID-19 and more than 2.1 million people had died. The U.S. had 25.3 million cases and 421,890 fatalities, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.

Fauci recently said that more people will be able to get vaccines by April to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. “Everyone will be able to get a vaccine. So I think by the end of the summer, if we get 70% to 85% of the population vaccinated and get a good herd immunity.”

U.S. President Joe Biden last week signed a mask mandate for all federal workers and anyone on federal property. They should, the mandate said, “all wear masks, maintain physical distance, and adhere to other public health measures, as provided in CDC guidelines.”

Biden said, “We want to get it to 1 million vaccinations per day. The idea about having everyone for at least 100 days — at least — wear a mask. Everyone uniformly, so we don’t have disparities where some people are adhering to public-health measures, and others are not.”

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and German partner BioNTech SE

have said that a final analysis of their vaccine candidate showed 95% efficacy. Meanwhile, Moderna

 said its vaccine candidate was about 94% effective.  

BioNTech and Pfizer said an in vitro study found that their COVID-19 vaccine neutralizes the two new highly infectious variants that have emerged in the U.K. and South Africa. The results were published on the preprint service bioRxiv and have not yet been peer-reviewed.

A vaccine candidate from AstraZeneca

 and the University of Oxford is safe and effective and showed an average efficacy of 70% in a pooled analysis of interim data, according to a recently published peer-reviewed study.

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