COVID vaccine and masking: CDC vs. WHO debate over masks for kids, teachers, more The CDC doubled down on COVID-19 safety recommendations that contradict the World Health Organization. We'll explain what's going on.


Whether vaccinated people should wear masks is a question for many, including major health agencies.

For the latest news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

With the highly contagious and deadly Delta version of the coronavirus on the rise, health organizations are scrambling to determine whether it is safe for fully vaccinated people to stop wearing face masks indoors. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new guidance last week that it is safe for teachers and students to be fully vaccinated skip face mask. At the same time, the vaccine maker Pfizer said that it would be Make a Booster Shot for Its COVID-19 Vaccine In light of the rise of Delta Edition. For some, the two actions equate to conflicting advice that doesn’t add up.

The CDC’s stance also contradicts the World Health Organization’s recommendation that to slow the rapidly spreading delta variant, Everyone Face masks should continue to be worn in crowded areas, even those who have passed the two-week mark after taking the second dose of the vaccine, for example from Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca.

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the conflicting guidance comes as the delta variant continues to dominate new cases around the world – including in the US, where it accounts for half of cases in many parts of the country.

Both the WHO and the CDC agree that people who have not been vaccinated should continue to wear face masks. But given the high rate of protection for people vaccinated against delta variants and other COVID strains, why are some medical experts conflicted about a bump on your nose and mouth? Does the dispute come down to legal liability, politics or science? We continue to update this story.

What is CDC’s Guidance for Children and Teachers?

For fully vaccinated teachers and students, the CDC says they are no longer required to wear masks inside a school building. People who have not been vaccinated – ages 2 and older – need to wear a mask while inside, but not when they are outside.

For child care programmes, in relation to schools with children under 12 years of age, the use of universal masks may be implemented as children of this age are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. The mask mandate may also be effective if transmission of the coronavirus is high in that community.

For schools that cannot provide adequate physical distancing, the CDC says “layered COVID-19 prevention strategies” should be put in place to protect children and teachers who have not been fully vaccinated.

read more: In-person learning should be a priority for schools this fall, says CDC

Why are there experts on masks for vaccinated people?

In June, WHO officials followed a long-standing recommendation that everyone should wear a mask to prevent the spread of the virus. Meanwhile, the CDC has upheld its guidance that fully vaccinated Americans are no longer required to wear masks or maintain social distancing indoors. Last week, White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said that people who have received two doses of the vaccine should still take the “extra step” of wearing a mask when traveling to places with low vaccination rates.

Days after the WHO recommended that people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine continue to wear face masks, Fauci explained why the advice differs from the CDC’s. “There’s a reason for this,” he said at a virtual White House press briefing. “The WHO is responsible for the planet as a whole. It is different in the world in general than it is here in the United States.”

So, while WHO is monitoring the pandemic around the world, with most people without vaccinations, CDC is responding to the situation in the US, where vaccines seem to work quite effectively against hospitalizations from the delta variant. shown for. According to the vaccine tracker site Our World in Data, only 11.6% of the global population has been fully vaccinated. The US nearly quadruples that number: According to the Mayo Clinic, 47.7% of Americans are thought to have been fully vaccinated by July 4.

For Fauci and the CDC, the urgency is less about wearing a face mask after vaccination and more about getting as many Americans vaccinated in the first place. On July 4, Fauci said 99.2% of COVID-related deaths in the past month involved unvaccinated people.

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Fauci used the data in this slide to explain why differences in global and US vaccination rates resulted in different mask-wearing recommendations.

What is WHO’s position on wearing masks?

A WHO official said during a press briefing in late June that it is important to wear a mask consistently, even for those who have been vaccinated. “People can’t feel safe just because they’ve had two doses. They still need to protect themselves.”

Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, an American infectious disease epidemiologist, said during the same briefing, wearing a mask in public places is essential to protect people from breathing particles that can make them sick.

While Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines are showing strong protection against the variants, “breakthrough” infections can still occur sporadically. In one case in early June, a fully vaccinated woman in Napa, Calif., died of COVID-19. She was over 65 and was reported to have underlying medical conditions.

CDC guidance: Fully vaccinated can go without a mask

The CDC’s current guidance on wearing masks is the same for fully vaccinated people. The guidelines state that people who have been fully vaccinated can “resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing”, where necessary, such as on planes and in businesses. CDC Director Rochelle Valensky stuck to that guidance on the NBC Today show on June 30, saying that people who are fully vaccinated are protected from the Delta version.

Newly updated CDC guidance on Friday states that fully vaccinated teachers and students are not required to wear masks inside school. It says preventive measures at school should not exclude students from in-person learning and that “safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall of 2021 is a priority.”

The CDC warned CNN that there is still a small chance people who are fully vaccinated can become infected with the new variant if exposed. We have sought comment from the CDC.

Why is Coronavirus Delta Edition serious?

According to WHO, the delta variant is the latest of the new coronavirus variants and the most contagious of the variants identified so far. The delta variant has so far been identified in 85 countries and is spreading among unvaccinated populations, the organization said during the press conference.

“The delta version is currently the biggest threat in America to our effort to end COVID-19,” Fauci said during a White House press briefing on June 22.

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Some countries are returning to lockdown to contain the spread.

Will there be new mask mandates or stricter restrictions?

Some countries have already started to tighten COVID-19 restrictions. For example, four cities across Australia, including the New South Wales state of Sydney, have returned to lockdown. In the US, Los Angeles County is strongly recommending face masks indoors even if someone has been vaccinated, although masks are not required in most places. Some countries in Africa and Asia – for example, South Africa and Malaysia – have also gone into lockdown due to the outbreak of the delta variant.

In some places, such as airports and airlines, mask mandates were never relaxed. In the US, other public transportation facilities require masks such as buses and trains.

For more information, you need to know about “Long COVID” and How It’s Treated. Also, read on Side Effects of the COVID-19 Vaccine and Important dos and don’ts for getting your COVID-19 vaccine.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult with a physician or other qualified health provider with respect to any questions you may have about a medical condition or health purposes.

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