Health officials are recommending lifting most COVID-19 restrictions for people who are fully vaccinated.
That means no more masks or social distancing, indoors or outdoors, according to updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you’ve been fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic
‘ ‘You can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic, you can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, and If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms’’ updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“We have all longed for this moment.” Said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
For now, masks are still required on planes, trains and buses. Walensky said the CDC would be updating travel guidance soon, as well as recommendations for schools, camps and other settings.
Experts said the announcement was mostly good news.
“The science on this is pretty clear. Vaccinated people rarely get sick and don’t do much transmitting,” Brown University School of Public Health Dean Ashish Jha wrote on Twitter.
“Wow,” said former Baltimore Public Health Commissioner Leana Wen, who had criticized CDC’s previous guidance as too cautious. “This does speak to the power of vaccines, but how can we be sure those around us are vaccinated? Not sure we all trust an honor code.”
Walensky said the CDC is updating the guidance because cases have fallen by one-third in the past two weeks and vaccines are widely available. U.S. regulators on Monday authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people as young as 12 years old.
Walensky also noted that new research published in the past couple of weeks has shown how effective the vaccines are in the real world, not just in controlled clinical trials, and how they even prevent infection with the variants circulating in the United States. And in the rare cases in which vaccinated people still get infected, their infections are milder and are less likely to spread to others than infections in unvaccinated people.
For those hesitant or skeptical about getting the vaccine, the CDC is working with “trusted messengers” to spread the word and deliver shots, including local doctors and places of worship.
What We’re Still Learning- CDC
The CDC noted that they are still carrying out studies on a number of issues including:
• How effective the vaccines are against variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. Early data show the vaccines may work against some variants but could be less effective against others.
• How well the vaccines protect people with weakened immune systems, including people who take immunosuppressive medications.
• How long COVID-19 vaccines can protect people.