CDC says Covid-19 might be a few mutations away from evading vaccines, while recommends new indoor mask mandates including in schools
It looks like we are moving one step forward, but three backwards when it comes to battling the Covid-19 virus. What was reported as a possible scenario this morning by New York Times regarding new mask mandates, was officially announced later the day; face masks are becoming mandatory in certain areas again.
The new guidelines issued by the CDC on Tuesday recommend everyone, including the fully vaccinated people, to wear face masks indoors in certain areas experiencing spikes in Covid-19 cases. Furthermore, the CDC recommends everyone in K-12 schools to wear face masks as students are expected to get back to in-person teaching this fall.
“In areas with substantial and time transmission, CDC recommends fully vaccinated people wear masks in public, indoor settings to help prevent the spread of the Delta variants and protect others,” agency Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a press briefing.
“Children should return to full time in-person learning in the fall with proper prevention strategies,” Walensky added.
It was not that long ago when CDC dropped the mask mandate for fully vaccinated people along with some others pandemic measures last May. The latest decision came just after two months since loosening the measures.
According to the CDC, the reason for newest guidelines is the recent spike in new Covid-19 cases across the country, which seems to be pretty alarming in some states like Arkansas. Their latest data shows that more than 83% of the recent cases are Delta variant cases.
Additionally, in an effort to inform the public how serious is the situation and that everyone should be responsible and get the shot against coronavirus, Walensky added that we might be just a few mutations away from evading vaccines.
Multiple recent studies show that despite the lower efficacy against the Delta variant, the vaccines seem to be efficient enough to keep the virus away or at least keep the people safe from serious illness. However, if we don’t stop the spread of the virus soon, the virus might mutate beyond the immunizations’ protection.
“The largest concern that I think we in public health and sciences are worried about is that virus and potential mutations … [have] the potential to evade our vaccine in terms of how it protects us from severe disease and death,” Walensky said at a press briefing.
“Right now, fortunately, we are not there. These vaccines operate really well in protecting us from severe disease and death. But the big concern is the next area that might emerge, just a few mutations potentially away, could potentially evade our vaccines.”
According to Walensky, this is another, very important reason that vaccine hesitant people should consider and decide to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The vaccines are proven to be the best way to battle the virus.
Currently, people who are not vaccinated are responsible for around 99.5 percent of COVID-19 deaths and 97 percent of hospitalizations, officials said.