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Anthony Fauci. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Washington Post leadership summit Thursday that if 70% of Americans get at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine by July 4, the U.S. could avoid a case surge later in the year.

Why it matters: Fauci called the COVID-19 vaccine a "positive wild card" that wasn't present in the previous case upticks, but urged the U.S. to continue aggressively vaccinating its population.

What they're saying: “If we get to the president’s goal — which I believe we will attain — of getting 70 percent of people getting at least one dose, adults that is, by July 4, there will be enough protection in the community that I really don’t foresee there being the risk of a surge,” Fauci said.

  • He added that with vaccines that are as “highly effective as these ... you get a substantial proportion of the population vaccinated, the chances of there being a surge are extraordinarily low, I mean quite, quite low."

Of note: Earlier this month Fauci said that if the Biden administration reached its goal of vaccinating 70% of the population with at least one dose by July 4, it could turn COVID-19 surges into "blips."

  • Currently, 47.9% of Americans have received at least one dose, per the Post.

Go deeper

Aug 27, 2021 - Health

U.S. opens COVID-19 vaccination site for arriving Afghans

Refugees board buses that will take them to a processing center after they arrive at Dulles International Airport after being evacuated from Kabul. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The U.S. has set up a coronavirus vaccination site for Afghans arriving at the Dulles International Airport in Virginia, a White House official told Axios.

State of play: Upon arrival, all Afghan evacuees are first tested for the virus and vaccines are then offered to those who test negative. The Federal Emergency Management Agency set up the vaccination site at the Dulles Expo center, and the vaccines are being administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, the White House official said.

Aug 27, 2021 - Health

White House clarifies Biden boosters statement

President Biden, right, and Naftali Bennett, Israel's prime minister, meet in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Photo: Sarahbeth Maney0The New York Times-Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration plans to issue a statement clarifying there is no change to their planned timeline for recommending boosters after people finish their primary immunization, despite comments from the president this afternoon.

What they're saying: "We are going to start the booster program in mid-September. There's no change in our timeline," a press release says, according to a senior Biden administration official. The move is also pending authorization by the FDA and the CDC's advisory panel known as ACIP, a senior Biden administration official told Axios.

Aug 27, 2021 - Health

NBA staff must be vaccinated if around players, referees

Fully vaccinated fans are seen in the vaccinated section of the stadium during the NBA Play-In Tournament game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center on May 19. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The NBA said Friday that all personnel who will be in close proximity to players and referees must be fully vaccinated, according to a company memo shared with Axios.

State of play: This includes anyone who travels with teams, those who are around the bench areas and those who have access to the locker rooms. Team staff must be vaccinated by Oct. 1.