CDC Says Fully Vaccinated Adults Can Forego Face Masks

Kimberly Redmond  |

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday that fully vaccinated adults can safely resume activities indoors and outdoors without wearing face masks or practicing social distancing in gatherings. 

According to the CDC, people vaccinated against COVID-19 now only need to wear face masks under certain circumstances, such as in healthcare settings, on public transportation or in areas where local or state governments mandate it.  They will also still need to follow mask requirements set out by businesses and workplaces, the CDC said.

After announcing the new guidance, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, “If you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic.” 

“We have all longed for this moment - when we can get back to some sense of normalcy," said Walensky, who explained the revised guidelines are based on recent real-world studies from Israel and the US on people who have been vaccinated.

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines or two weeks after the single-dose of the Johnson & Johnson shot.

Unvaccinated people “remain at risk” of contracting the virus and should continue wearing face masks and observe social distancing, Walensky said.

During a press conference Thursday afternoon in the White House Rose Garden, President Joe Biden said the CDC’s announcement marks “a great milestone” in the country’s effort to emerge from the pandemic.

“Today is a great day for America and our long battle with coronavirus,” Biden said. “It’s been made possible by the extraordinary success we’ve had in vaccinating so many Americans so quickly.”

“To date, we have given out 250 million shots in 114 days and we’re seeing the results,” said Biden, pointing to a downward trend in positive cases, hospitalizations and fatalities.

“As great as this announcement is today, we don’t want to let up.  We all know how tough this virus has been.” the president said. “After a year of hard work and so much sacrifice, the rule is very simple: Get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do."

"It’s vax’ed or masked. Get vaccinated.”

The CDC’s announcement came as many states have already lifted mask requirements amid improving virus numbers and as more Americans have been shedding face coverings after getting vaccinated.

To date more than 154 million Americans, nearly 47% of the population, have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 119 million are fully vaccinated. 

The rate of new vaccinations has slowed in recent weeks, but after the emergency use authorization issued this week to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in teens ages 12 to 15, a new wave of doses is expected in coming days.

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Source: Equities News

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