Why isn’t the CDC recommending fully vaccinated individuals continue mask use?

WHO recommendation looks at situation worldwide

Confusion over mask recommendations
Confusion over mask recommendations

DETROITThe World Health Organization called on everyone to continue wearing masks and social distancing even if they’re fully vaccinated.

In the United States, Los Angeles County health officials are also urging everyone to keep wearing masks inside public places like grocery stores and movie theaters.

Wearing masks reduces the risk of transmitting COVID-19. With the more contagious delta variant now spreading, some experts are concerned that mask mandates were dropped too quickly.

The CDC is stressing that the World Health Organization’s recommendation takes into account the situation worldwide. Less than 15% of people around the world have been vaccinated, health officials said.

Director of the Centers for Disease Control Rochelle Walensky said the overall situation in the United States is more encouraging right now.

“We have three vaccines that we know are safe and effective. We have two-thirds of the adult population that is fully vaccinated and really quite protected from the variants that we have circulating here in the United States,” Walensky said.

Read: Should you wear mask for delta variant? CDC defers to local officials

Walensky said that people should follow local recommendations for mask use. She said the recommendations are not one-size-fits-all.

“If you have an immunocompromising condition, if you might have had a transplant and you’re vaccinated -- everybody should consider their own situation if they would feel more comfortable wearing a mask,” Walensky said. “Those masking policies are not to protect the vaccinated, they’re to protect the unvaccinated.”

Even if you’re vaccinated, when you’re in a crowded situation or around people whose vaccination status you don’t know it’s reasonable to put on a mask as an extra layer of protection.

Read: Tracking Michigan hospital capacity during COVID-19


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About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.