CDC Guidance Is Seen As The First Step Back To Normal

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CDC Guidance Is Seen As The First Step Back To Normal
FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia September 30, 2014. TO MATCH SPECIAL REPORT USA-UNCOUNTED/SURVEILLANCE REUTERS/Tami Chappell/File Photo

With the increased number of people getting vaccinated against Covid-19, people were asking if they could visit their loved ones, which they had not met in the past year or more, CNN reported.

CDC Guidance Is Seen As The First Step Back To Normal

With the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention releasing its first set of guidance about what people who had been fully vaccinated could do, expectations that the moment would arrive soon had heightened. 

CDC Guidance Is Seen As The First Step Back To Normal

Though people who had been vaccinated now felt secure knowing that they were now approximately 95% protected against getting severe Covid-19 infection, their newly vaccinated status made them restless, and they wanted to do some things that they could do before the pandemic. The CDC guidance provides some excellent guidelines for such vaccinated people to follow.

What is seen as a major step is the CDC’s guidelines allowing the safe visit of fully vaccinated people to other people who had been fully vaccinated in private settings. They would need no masks, social distancing, and they would also not need to be outdoors. According to the CDC definition, people fully vaccinated were ones who had completed two weeks following the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. They could also have completed two weeks following the Johnson & Johnson vaccine single dose. According to experts, it was an obvious recommendation and should have happened with the first vaccines rolling out.

The CDC guidance further allowed for the indoor visit of people fully vaccinated with unvaccinated people from a single household. They would require no masks or physical distancing; however, the unvaccinated people needed to be at low risk for the disease.  According to experts, that last part was important. This meant that none of the unvaccinated people, for instance, an adult over 65 years of age or with underlying conditions like cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, could lead to increased risk of Covid-19 related hospitalization or death to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC. She was speaking Monday at a virtual White House briefing related to the announcement of the new guidance.

However, according to experts, what comes as a dampener was that fully vaccinated people were still being discouraged from traveling.

Travel that was not essential was yet not allowed irrespective of the vaccination status. The concern was that one would encounter people at the airport who might be vulnerable and at risk of getting infected. At this point, it was pertinent to note that while 10% of the population was now fully vaccinated, that also meant about 90% was not.

According to Walensky, the guidance needed to balance the risk to the fully vaccinated, the risks to those yet to receive the shots as also the impact on the larger community transmission of Covid-19 with what all recognized as the overall benefits of resumption of everyday activities and returning to some of the things one loved in life.

According to commentators, it was a fine line and also an extremely cautious one to walk even as one encouraged vaccination on one hand while not over-relaxing restrictions on the other.

According to Dr. William Schaffner, professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville and an expert in infectious disease, the new guidance was an excellent first step.

He added they were thoughtful guidelines, and people would try to apply them to their specific circumstances. He said many people were eagerly awaiting them and, following vaccination, would like to expand what it was that they had been doing.

Walensky said the guidance was not set in stone. She added that it was important to note it was initial guidance. She added the science of Covid-19 was complex, and the scientists’ understanding of the virus continued to evolve rapidly.

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