Delta variant prompts new mask guidance
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has changed its COVID-19 guidance and is recommending that vaccinated people wear masks in indoor public spaces in areas with high disease activity. Infectious disease expert Helmut Albrecht, MD, explained what prompted this change.
“The delta variant is here,” he said. “The delta variant causes more vaccine breakthroughs, and while those breakthroughs are typically mild to moderate, it can produce enough virus in vaccinated people to cause symptomatic infections. This means when you sneeze or cough you can spread it.”
The data is also showing that people who are vaccinated can be asymptomatic carriers.
However, Dr. Albrecht said there are two important points to keep in mind.
- This does not mean that vaccines don’t work as well. The vaccines are extraordinarily effective, even against the delta variant. “Given that hundreds of millions of doses have now been given, we also know that this is probably the safest intervention,” he added.
- This does not mean the scientists changed their minds. They are simply following the numbers and the data.
Are vaccinated people at risk from the delta variant?
“Vaccinated people are still not at substantial risk for hospitalization or death,” said Dr. Albrecht. “Almost all hospitalizations and deaths are among the unvaccinated.”
He encouraged everyone to do the following:
- Get vaccinated – and get both doses
- Remember, whether you’re vaccinated or unvaccinated, if you go indoors, the CDC recommends wearing a mask.
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