3 Major Reasons Why the CDC Changed Its Mask Guidance for Vaccinated People

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As you’ve likely heard by now, the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) has recently updated their requirements regarding mask-wearing. On May 13, 2021, they’ve stated that people who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks indoors.

Additionally, the CDC has stated that social distancing is also not needed anymore for vaccinated people, “except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

As you can imagine, people had a lot of questions. Does this mean that the pandemic over? What about unvaccinated people—who’d stop them from not wearing a mask or not social distancing? What about places where masks are still required? The new guidance seemed like a huge shift from where we were.

To clear these and other concerns up, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, M.D., addressed these concerns at a White House COVID-19 response team briefing. According to her, here are 3 major reasons about why the CDC has altered their mandate to include the above mask and social distancing requirements.

  1. The COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective

    Research shows that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 95% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19, the Moderna vaccine is about 94% effective and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 66% effective. Additionally, to date, 35% of Americans are fully vaccinated.

  2. They’re also very effective toward variants

    Research shows that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 95% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19, the Moderna vaccine is about 94% effective and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 66% effective. Additionally, to date, 35% of Americans are fully vaccinated.

  3. Vaccinated people are less likely to spread it

    While vaccinated people can still spread and contract the virus, they are far much less likely to. In fact, Dr. Schaffner goes so far to say that “it’s unlikely that fully vaccinated people will infect others.” Additionally, if people who are vaccinated are to contract the virus, they are much more likely to have a lower viral load.

Please note that the new guidelines do not mean that you must not wear a mask if you’re unvaccinated. You’re still welcome to wear a mask wherever it makes you feel comfortable and safe.

What do you think of this new mask and social distancing guidance from the CDC? If you’re fully vaccinated, do you plan to forgo masks and stop social distancing or continue, or do you think you’ll continue to wear them and keep apart from others?