People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer have to wear a mask indoors or outdoors, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House COVID-19 briefing. “We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.”
Walensky said the science backs the updated CDC guidance that “anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities — large or small — without wearing a mask or physical distancing.”
She cited three studies that showed how effective the vaccines were. The Israeli study showed that the vaccines were 97% efficient against symptomatic people who had COVID-19 and 86% effective against those who were asymptomatic.
Although Walensky said this is an “exciting and powerful moment,” she urged people who are immune-compromised to consult with their doctor before they stop wearing masks. She also said that the requirement to wear masks during travel on public transportation, including planes, buses and trains, still remains.
Unvaccinated people should “remain at risk of mild or severe illness, of death, or spreading the disease to others. You should still mask and you should get vaccinated right away,” she said.
Last week, REVOLT reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) extended the emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to include children ages 12 to 15. According to Pfizer, at the end of March, a clinical trial involving over 2,200 12-to-15-year-olds showed the vaccine’s effectiveness was at 100 percent.
Next month, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will meet to discuss the potential expansion of the vaccine to children under the age of 12.