In the last 24 hours the CDC has done a complete turnaround on their recommendations for masking. They now are not requiring masks to be worn by anyone who has been fully vaccinated, regardless of whether in or out of doors. This obviously is a complete change from their recent complex and specific recommendations for masking for both vaccinated and non vaccinated individuals under varying conditions. For most people, this is a sign of relief and hope!
The CDC’s prior mask guidance. Just forget it! No one understood it anyway.
While many have suggested that this might be a politically motivated change, I believe that this is actually related to real-world data showing the remarkable effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination on transmission of COVID-19.
Most authorities now believe that even without vaccines, COVID-19 is rarely spread outside. This removes any value to wearing masks out of doors.
Also, data from Israel, where vaccinations are far ahead of the rest of the world, clearly shows that after approximately 50% of the population receives at least one dose of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, infections start to fall dramatically. I recently presented data in a prior blog post that confirmed the same outcome in the State of Michigan.
Importantly, there is now real-world data that also demonstrates that the few people who get infected after being vaccinated do not get ill and have little chance of dying from COVID-19, unless they have some significant prior illness or problem with their immune system. There is also evolving data that the very few people who are vaccinated but still get infected release very little virus and therefore don’t infect others.
It is these facts that suggest masks are no longer needed for people who are fully vaccinated, either to protect themselves or to keep non-vaccinated individuals from being infected by someone who is vaccinated.
While airplanes, many stores, public venues and other unique situations such as medical facilities are retaining an indoor mask mandate for the time being, the current change in the CDC’s recommendation suggests that it is simply a matter of time before mask mandates are entirely revoked. This makes sense, and it is part of the reward for anyone who has obtained their vaccine.
Unfortunately, there are individuals with health problems that make the vaccine less effective, and these individuals will likely have to continue to use masks to protect themselves, particularly if they are indoors around other people.
For other individuals who are concerned about exposure to COVID-19 because they have not obtained a vaccine, I can only offer one piece of advice. Please get the damn vaccine. You are needlessly putting yourself and others at risk if you don’t. There is also almost NO RISK from vaccination.
The new normal has arrived and life will now pass by those who will not get the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.