Dr. Fauci Reveals How Long We'll Need To Keep Wearing Masks

As the vaccine rollout gains traction, there's finally a glimmer of light at the end of the pandemic tunnel for many Americans who have been living in a virtual stasis for almost a year now. As state restrictions start to loosen, and "normal" activities resume like indoor dining, it's easy to develop a more lax attitude towards the CDC guidelines that are integral to slowing the transmission of COVID-19. Specifically, mask-wearing.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci spent some time this morning speaking with Good Morning America about the accessibility of vaccines in the near future and the safety measures that everyone still needs to prioritize as the world anxiously awaits a return to normalcy. And while he's confident we're on the uptick of positive change, he stressed that we need to be vigilant about wearing masks for what he quantified as, "several, several months," as the vaccine distribution becomes more widespread.

Dr. Fauci thinks by summer everyone will be able to easily get a vaccine

For many Americans, trying to get a vaccine has been difficult so far, but Dr. Fauci believes by mid-summer everyone will have access to vaccines. He predicts, "As we go from April to May to June and then hopefully by July, we'll be at that point where we have enough vaccine for virtually everyone."

Five more months might feel like a lot, but the production and distribution of 600 million vaccines is a huge undertaking. As we wait, Fauci stresses the importance of continuing to maintain mask and social distancing protocols so infection hot spots don't derail the process. He explained to GMA that we need to wait until between 75 and 80 percent of the population is vaccinated before "the level of virus in the community could be so low that you could start pulling back a bit on what are stringent public health measures." That means you will still need to wear your mask for quite some time.

On a positive note, the CDC announced on Wednesday, Feb. 10, per CNN, that anyone who has received two doses of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine within the approved two-week window, and has followed social distancing and mask guidelines for two weeks following the last dose, (that's how long it takes to develop full immunity), does not have to quarantine following exposure to any person that has tested positive for COVID-19.