Fauci: Vaccine Requirement For Domestic Air Travel Should Be ‘Seriously’ Considered

Dr. Anthony Fauci said a coronavirus vaccine requirement for domestic air travel should be “seriously” considered as the omicron variant spreads across the globe.

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases argued that making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for flights within the United States would encourage more people to receive a vaccine, pointing to similar requirements to attend universities or work at certain companies

“When you make vaccination a requirement, that’s another incentive to get more people vaccinated,” he said. “If you want to do that with domestic flights, I think that’s something that seriously should be considered.”

The U.S. currently requires most international travelers coming into the country to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but has no such rules for travel within the U.S.

Fauci topped short of saying he’d publicly recommend the change to President Joe Biden, who earlier this month said he wasn’t yet planning to implement the policy.

Fauci also addressed the issue of a vaccine mandate during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, similarly arguing that the main goal of the policy would be incentivizing vaccination and pressing that it is crucial for individuals to still wear masks on planes despite the advanced filtration systems on most aircraft.

Fauci’s remarks come as the omicron variant spreads rapidly across the U.S., accounting for the vast majority of new coronavirus infections in the country.

“It has an extraordinary capability of transmitting very efficiently from person to person,” Fauci said on MSNBC of the variant, urging people to take precautions and get their booster vaccination doses if they haven’t yet.

“It’s not something to be taken lightly,” he said.

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