Even if you've had coronavirus, there's a "very high rate" of being reinfected with the new variants if they become dominant, Dr. Anthony Fauci says.
"If it becomes dominant, the experience of our colleagues in South Africa indicate that even if you've been infected with the original virus that there is a very high rate of reinfection to the point where previous infection does not seem to protect you against reinfection, at least with the South African variant that's the one that we know the most about when it comes to reinfection," Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Monday.
Fauci emphasized the importance of getting vaccinated to prevent severe and potentially fatal illness that may require hospitalization.
"We need to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as we possibly can, and when vaccine becomes available to individuals please take the vaccine, even though there is a diminished protection against the variants, there's enough protection to prevent you from getting serious disease, including hospitalization and deaths. So, vaccination is critical," Fauci said.
Read more about the new Covid-19 variants here.