HealthDay News — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday is expected to recommend a return to masks indoors for the fully vaccinated in some areas of the country.
The latest decision is a sharp reversal from one the agency announced just two months ago, when it said that vaccinated people could shed their masks while inside. Reports of a rise in mild “breakthrough” infections with the delta variant in fully vaccinated people, as well as case surges in regions with low vaccination rates, appear to have prompted the latest decision, The New York Times reported.
“I think that’s great,” Celine Gounder, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City, told The Times. Based on what scientists are learning about the delta variant’s ability to cause breakthrough infections, she said, “this is a move in the right direction.”
But Amesh Adalja, M.D., an infectious disease expert and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore, strongly disagreed that a return to masks is the right decision.
“I have not seen data that shows that vaccinated individuals are driving this pandemic. The CDC director and the president have said this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated, but yet the vaccinated are being asked to wear masks — both can’t be true,” Adalja said. “And to what end are we wearing masks for? COVID is not a disease that can be eradicated or limited, and we will always have cases. The goal was to make it a manageable respiratory illness, and it is so in many places where enough high-risk individuals have been vaccinated.”