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Fauci urges police officers to get vaccinated as union protests heat up

New York City police officers stand guard during a St. Patrick's Day Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan on March 17. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
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Anthony S. Fauci, the United States’ top infectious-disease expert, is urging police officers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus — saying the resistance “doesn’t make any sense” as “more police officers die of covid than they do in other causes of death.”

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Police departments are facing an infection crisis, as departments around the country seeking to mandate vaccines clash with police unions and officers who oppose the requirements.

Law enforcement officers are considered to be at higher risk because they are exposed to more people in the line of duty. Fauci urged Americans in critical jobs to consider “the implications of not getting vaccinated.” He added: “I’m not comfortable with telling people what they should do under normal circumstances, but we are not in normal circumstances right now.”

Here’s what to know

Coronavirus: What you need to know

The latest: The CDC has loosened many of its recommendations for battling the coronavirus, a strategic shift that puts more of the onus on individuals, rather than on schools, businesses and other institutions, to limit viral spread.

Variants: BA.5 is the most recent omicron subvariant, and it’s quickly become the dominant strain in the U.S. Here’s what to know about it, and why vaccines may only offer limited protection.

Vaccines: Vaccines: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone age 12 and older get an updated coronavirus booster shot designed to target both the original virus and the omicron variant circulating now. You’re eligible for the shot if it has been at least two months since your initial vaccine or your last booster. An initial vaccine series for children under 5, meanwhile, became available this summer. Here’s what to know about how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections and booster history.

Guidance: CDC guidelines have been confusing — if you get covid, here’s how to tell when you’re no longer contagious. We’ve also created a guide to help you decide when to keep wearing face coverings.

Where do things stand? See the latest coronavirus numbers in the U.S. and across the world. The omicron variant is behind much of the recent spread.

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