On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear a mask or follow social distancing, whether indoors or outdoors, in a majority of circumstances.
Dr, Rochelle Wallensky, CDC’s director, stated in a media briefing on Thursday that they have “all longed for this moment” when the people in the country can get some “sense of normalcy” back.
Walensky added that, based on the lowering trend of the number of cases, as well as the scientific data on vaccine performance and the understanding of how COVID-19 spreads, “that moment has come” for fully vaccinated individuals.
President Joe Biden called this announcement “a great milestone” during his remarks at the White House on Thursday. The president then recognized that this was made possible by the successful vaccination of Americans at a quick rate.
As per the CDC, more than 35% of the American population has achieved full inoculation.
Experts in infectious disease lauded the move.
Dr. Richard Besser, a former CDC acting director, said that it serves as “a true turning point in the pandemic,” adding that this is “huge.”
Meanwhile, the director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease and Research Policy, Michael Osterholm, stated that “it follows the best science.”
According to Dr. Amesh Adalja from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, this announcement is “long overdue.”
Adalja also noted that the goal was to “tame this virus” and diminish its ability to overwhelm hospitals. He then revealed that he believes they’ve accomplished this feat in the United States.
The new CDC recommendations come over a year after the agency’s first mask-wearing guidelines rolled out. At that time, the country had more than a thousand COVID-19 deaths per day.
According to Walensky, the new advisory is proof that the vaccines work really well. She also referred to several studies from the country and from Israel, which showed that the vaccines are over 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 symptoms.
Although, those who have compromised immune systems need to talk to their doctors about protection. Fully vaccinated people may also still be asked to wear masks in numerous places, like hospitals and other health care settings, as well as in public transportation.