Exclusive: Fauci talks about vaccinating kids, booster mixing and the 'downslope' of COVID-19

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases spoke to Roop Raj exclusively Thursday.

FOX 2: Where are we with variants.  How concerned are you?

"We are on a downslope right now, if you look at the parameters of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths," Fauci said. "They continue to come down. But we are not at a comfortable place, yet. We still have about 65,000 to 70,000 new cases per day.  We have to go much lower than that.

"As we said so often, it really depends on our ability to vaccinate a considerably larger number of people because right now, about 64 million people in this country are eligible to be vaccinated who have not yet gotten vaccinated."

FOX 2: "Let’s talk about those numbers - 42 percent of Americans are not vaccinated.  Some who are not vaccinated are saying let people who want to be vaccinated get vaccinated, and let them be. Can you reach Community immunity that way?"

"If you’re going to take the chance of saying we are going to get to community immunity by just having people get infected so that you get infected people, plus vaccinated people, and you have protection, that’s a very high price to pay," Fauci said. "We don’t want any more than the 740,000 people or so who have already died from this outbreak."

FOX 2: "People fully vaccinated are worried about being around people unvaccinated.  Aren’t both people able to carry and spread the virus? Why should vaccinated people be more worried, more afraid of people who don't have the vaccine"

"I don’t think one can say we are more or less afraid of one particular individual," Fauci said. "But I think under the circumstances we know particularly in an indoor setting, that both unvaccinated and vaccinated people can spread the infection, That’s one of the reasons why the CDC makes a recommendation that when you are in an indoor congregate setting, when you don’t know the status of the individuals involved that we still now, recommend the wearing of masks."

FOX 2: "Talk about children. We have talked all week about the FDA giving the green light at least from the advisory point of view to this vaccine for kids. There 28 million kids out there, talk about what this is going to look like for those 5 to 11 years old."

"The dose will be about one-third the standard dose of Pfizer which is about 30 micrograms," Fauci said. "The dose for children, 5 to 11, will be 10 micrograms. That dose has been shown to induce a very robust response that you can predict would protect. It would be a very good idea to get the children vaccinated not only for their own safety - but also because can be the source of spread."

Dr. Anthony Fauci joined FOX 2 on Thursday.

Dr. Anthony Fauci joined FOX 2 on Thursday in a 1-on-1 interview.

FOX 2: "Are kids the ones that can squash the virus for good?"

"I think it would be an important contribution. I don’t think it will be a game-changer necessarily, but I think the game-changer is the $64 million people who are eligible to be vaccinated right now who have not gotten vaccinated," Fauci said.

FOX 2: "What about mixing and matching.Moderna and Pfizer boosters?"

"It’s perfectly fine to get another product that wasn't the original product that you get vaccinated with," Fauci said.

FOX 2: "And it is just as effective?"

"No actually, if you look at the data, it works all around," he said. "If you get Moderna to J&J, and Moderna to Pfizer, you’re still going to get a good response."