Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony FauciReuters

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious diseases expert, said on Sunday that the country is in an “unnecessary predicament” of soaring COVID-19 cases fueled by unvaccinated Americans and the Delta variant.

“We’re going in the wrong direction,” Fauci told CNN in an interview, describing himself as “very frustrated.”

He said that recommending that vaccinated people wear masks is “under active consideration” by the government’s leading public health officials and that booster shots may be suggested for people with suppressed immune systems who have been vaccinated.

“This is an issue predominantly among the unvaccinated, which is the reason why we’re out there, practically pleading with the unvaccinated people to go out and get vaccinated,” Fauci told CNN.

Fauci added that government experts are reviewing early data as they consider whether to recommend that vaccinated individuals to get booster shots.

Pfizer recently announced plans to ask US regulators to authorize a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine within the next month.

Following that announcement, Fauci said that “it is entirely conceivable, maybe likely” that Americans will need a booster dose but also stressed that it is too soon for the government to recommend another shot.

On Friday, the United States announced it would purchase 200 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer and BioNTech.

The US government "also has an option to acquire an updated version of the vaccine to address potential variants, as well as new formulations of the vaccine, if available and authorized," the companies said in a press release.