USA lifts indoor mask mandate for vaccinated people: health official

14 Mai, 2021, 06:11 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Harris and President Joe Biden greet their staff after speaking on updated guidance on mask mandates in the Rose Garden of the White House

In a major shift, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday that it's easing its indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people.

The action allows vaccinated passengers to explore by themselves on shore at points of call.

"If you were vaccinated, you don't have to wear a mask outside", Fauci said.

The change in guidance comes after New Jersey and CT governors announced that capacity limits at restaurants, stores, offices and other areas of life are set to be lifted by May 19 in the tri-state area.

"Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing", said CDC director Rochelle Walensky.

"Once you are fully vaccinated, two weeks after your last dose, you can shed your mask", she said.

Vaccinated people still have to wear masks at hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings, when using public transportation and at traveling hubs.

The Israeli study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed the vaccine was 97% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 and 86% effective against asymptomatic infection in over 5,000 health care workers. In Minnesota, for instance, where only 34% of the population is fully vaccinated, most capacity restrictions on businesses are getting lifted in two weeks.

As of today, children ages 12 to 15 can get vaccinated in San Francisco and elsewhere in the Bay Area - and Mayor London Breed noted on Twitter that that represents about 25,000 more San Franciscans who are newly eligible.

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During a virtual meeting Tuesday on vaccinations with a bipartisan group of governors, President Joe Biden appeared to acknowledge that his administration had to do more to model the benefits of vaccination.

"I think it's a great milestone, a great day", Biden said, speaking from the Rose Garden.

What happens if I get symptoms, or if I am unvaccinated?

Walensky said the evidence from the US and Israel shows the vaccines are as strongly protective in real-world use as they were in earlier studies, and that so far they continue to work even though some worrying mutated versions of the virus are spreading. "But we know that the more people who are vaccinated, the less cases we will have and the less chances of a new spike or additional variants emerging".

"You should still mask and you should get vaccinated right away", Walensky advised those who haven't been vaccinated.

She also emphasized that the updated guidance only applies to people who are fully vaccinated, and there are still risks for those who have not yet had their shots.

When asked if Thursday's decision was made to incentivize Americans to get vaccinated, Walensky said the agency was simply following the science.

There are some caveats. That's because of continued uncertainty about whether the vaccines can rev up a weakened immune system as well as they do normal, healthy ones.

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