US CDC Issues New Guidelines For Vaccinated People After Agency Chief Said They Don't Carry Coronavirus

US CDC Issues New Guidelines For Vaccinated People After Agency Chief Said They Don't Carry CoronavirusCDC director Rochelle Walensky (Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH/Twitter)
Snapshot
  • Experts say people should not stop following safety precautions like wearing a mask and maintaining a social distance after vaccination.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, researchers from all around the world have been working to find a cure or vaccine against the disease Covid-19.

Now, when countries like India, the United States of America (US), and the United Kingdom have started mass inoculation programmes using available vaccines, healthcare professionals and top scientists are asking people to roll up their sleeves to get the shots.

In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been updating people about the virus and the safety measures necessary from the early months of the pandemic.

Recently, it made a contentious suggestion: vaccinated people neither carry the virus nor are capable of spreading it.

Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, told MSNBC on 30 March: “Vaccinated people do not carry the virus — they don’t get sick.”

She said that it was not just in the clinical trials “but it’s also in real-world data”.

But American cardiologist and founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, Eric Topol, has said that the comment made by the CDC chief was only partially correct.

Walensky made her comment while referring to a new CDC study that suggested people who completed their inoculation after receiving Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines do not transmit the virus.

This study was published after researchers analysed how these vaccine doses protected about 4,000 healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential workers in the US.

It was claimed that after a single dose of these vaccines, the participants’ risk of infection had gone down by 80 per cent, while the figure jumped to 90 per cent after the second jab.

Walensky believes that this finding will offer hope to millions of Americans and the vaccines will likely help bring an end to the pandemic.

It is not only the CDC but also other healthcare experts from many countries including India who are hopeful about the mass vaccination drive. They believe it will end the long battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

On many occasions, several 'anti-vaxxers' – a label for people who oppose vaccination – tried to spread rumours about the vaccines and their side effects. They did it to make people believe that either these jabs were useless or extremely harmful.

But hundreds of experts, including billionaire Bill Gates and top American physician Anthony Fauci, have said that to end the pandemic, vaccines are our only hope.

Experts have suggested, however, that even after receiving two doses, people should not stop following safety precautions like wearing a mask and maintaining a social distance.

Topol disagrees with the CDC study result and Walensky's comments.

The professor of Molecular Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute said in a Twitter thread: “... You can be vaccinated and carry the virus (carrier). But if the viral load is so low you can't transmit (not a transmitter) spread is blocked and we move onto the pandemic exit ramp.”

However, after Walensky spoke, a spokesperson from the CDC told the New York Times that Dr Walensky "spoke broadly during the interview".

"It’s possible that some people who are fully vaccinated could get COVID-19. The evidence isn’t clear whether they can spread the virus to others. We are continuing to evaluate the evidence," said the CDC spokesperson.

On 2 April, CDC issued a guideline for people who had received both shots. In a Tweet, CDC wrote: “People fully vaccinated against #COVID19 can travel within the United States and do not need COVID-19 testing or post-travel self-quarantine as long as they continue to take precautions."

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