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U.S. health officials have discussed tightening their guidance on masks for vaccinated Americans, reversing their freer approach as the country faces new outbreaks of coronavirus infections in relation to the Delta variant.
Anthony Fauci, Joe Biden’s first medical adviser, told CNN Sunday that a change in masking recommendations was under “active consideration” in light of growing cases across the country.
After a huge success at the beginning of the year in the implementation of vaccinations, the Biden administration is now putting renewed pressure to control the pandemic, especially in parts of the country where vaccinations are delayed, infections they grew and hospitalizations began to grow again.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended wearing masks for unvaccinated Americans, but released its guide for vaccinated Americans in May saying they will be able to be exposed in many indoor environments.
Although the White House has been clinging to this advice on wearing masks in recent days, Fauci said he had held talks to change those guidelines, in what would be a significant U-turn for the administration. . Meanwhile, Biden administration officials have also indicated that they are looking into whether any vaccinated Americans may need an extra shot – known as reinforce – to maintain their protection.
U.S. health experts are worried that America could go in the direction of a new dangerous wave of cases across the country if it does not accelerate inoculation quickly – a concern raised by Fauci.
“We’re going in the wrong direction if we look at the inflection of the curve in homes,” Fauci said. “If we don’t vaccinate people, the model will predict that we will be in trouble,” he added.
One of the reasons to change the masking guide is that ”advance“Infections even among vaccines without symptoms or mild symptoms could aggravate the spread of the pandemic among vulnerable populations.
Scott Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, told CBS Sunday that wearing masks could “also be useful” for vaccines and that people need to be aware of the high rates of virus transmission. .
“If you’re around vulnerable people, if you’re caring for a baby or an elderly patient and you’re vaccinated and if you don’t feel well, you should probably check them and don’t think you’re impervious to any type of infection even if you are vaccinated, ”Gottlieb said.
The return of pandemic problems in the United States risks disrupting Biden’s other priorities for the second half of its first year in office, including further economic downturns. legislation, police reform and voting law proposals
Politically, much of the pressure and criticism has fallen Republican lawmakers both at the national and local level who have failed to animate for vaccinations or have doubted their effectiveness. But Democrats and the White House may suffer even if Americans feel the country is lagging behind in the pandemic and that new restrictions are being imposed on economic activity.
“We’re not where we were a year or six months ago.” We have highly effective vaccines. So the push now is to get vaccinated, ”Gina Raimondo, the U.S. secretary of commerce, told CBS Sunday.