The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Thursday that people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 no longer need to wear masks or physically distance, both indoors or outdoors in most circumstances. The CDC’s director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said during a media briefing Thursday afternoon: “We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy. Based on the continuing downward trajectory of cases, the scientific data on the performance of our vaccines and our understanding of how the virus spreads. That moment has come for those who are fully vaccinated.”
More than 35 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the last dose of Covid-19 vaccine. That gives the immune system enough time to develop antibodies against the virus.
Dr. Walensky said that the new mask recommendation is proof that vaccines are working extraordinarily well. However, the new guidelines also state that people who have compromised immune systems should talk to their doctors about continuing with mitigation measures. And even fully vaccinated people may still be asked to wear masks in certain places, such as in hospitals or other health care settings, as well as public transportation. For those who remain unvaccinated or who have only had a single dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, Walensky advised continuing to wear masks.