While mask mandates are a thing of the past for the most part in Mississippi, Dr. Anthony Fauci shared his opinion that fully vaccinated individuals should continue to mask up in the Magnolia State due to a low vaccination rate.
Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases was asked by host Chuck Todd if he would wear a mask, as someone who is vaccinated, if he was in Biloxi.
“I think there would be a good reason to do that,” Dr. Fauci answered. “As we’ve said so often, vaccines are not—even as good as they are and highly effective—nothing is 100%. If you put yourself in an environment in which you have a high level of viral dynamics and a very low level of vaccine, you might want to go the extra step and say when I’m in that area where there’s a considerable degree of viral circulation, I might want to go the extra mile to be cautious enough to make sure that I get the extra added level of protection even though the vaccines themselves are highly effective.”
Watch the interaction below starting around 13:20.
Dr. Fauci’s comments come at a time when mask mandates continue to fade away as the country seeks a return to a pre-pandemic way of life. 55% of eligible Americans have gotten at least their first shot and 47% are fully vaccinated.
Current CDC guidelines state that “fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
Those figures are lagging in Mississippi, however, as just 36% of the state’s residents have gotten their first dose and 30% are fully vaccinated.
Madison is Mississippi’s most vaccinated county at 44% while nearby Neshoba is the least vaccinated at 20%.