The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released new guidelines for individuals who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. However, now, they’re urging the general public not to let these new guidelines deter them from treating this pandemic any less seriously, as only about 10% of the US population is fully vaccinated at this point.
Dr. Amesh Adalja of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security recently spoke to the media about these new guidelines and how the CDC needs to be more direct with the public on what they can and can’t do. “If people believe the vaccine is not going to improve their life why would they get it?”
“The CDC is waiting for more ironclad data about the vaccination before issuing a more detailed guidance, and while the initial data from Israel, which has the highest coronavirus vaccination rates in the world, is highly encouraging, it’s apparently not encouraging enough for the CDC to give an all-clear to Americans who’ve had their shots,” Adalja explained.
The new guidance says that vaccinated individuals can gather in small groups without masks or socially distancing. Vaccinated grandparents will be able to see their unvaccinated grandchildren as long as they are indeed children, and the new guidelines still advise against any travel. Thomas Skinner is a spokesman for the CDC who recently spoke with the press to defend the new guidelines.
“It’s a good first step until we have more people vaccinated and data around vaccine effectiveness when it comes to real world circumstances. Until then it’s important to minimize cohorting of people.”
The CDC was also greatly silenced throughout the beginning and middle of the pandemic due to former president Donald Trump and his administration’s constant interference with new guidance on things like wearing masks, reopening schools, and business protocols. The Biden administration has luckily allowed the CDC to have the platform they need to keep the public informed and educated on where the US is with this pandemic.
Currently more than 2 million people are being vaccinated daily, and with Biden recently purchasing an additional 100 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it’s likely that the rate will increase in the coming month. This is good news considering around 90% of the population is still unvaccinated.
“While some guidance is better than no guidance, the guidelines are too timid and too limited, and they fail to tie reopening guidance with vaccination status, as a result the CDC missed a critical opportunity to incentivize Americans to be vaccinated,” said emergency physician and former Baltimore health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen.
“The perfectly understandable desire to return to normal as quickly as possible can obscure the fact that the first doses of coronavirus vaccine were administered in December. A more liberalized guidance should come this spring or summer,” said Dr. Peter J. Hotez, an infectious disease specialist at Baylor College of Medicine.
For now, everyone should continue to treat the pandemic as they have within the past year and stay home, social distance, and wear a mask in public.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.