US Coronavirus: Time to Rethink “One Size Fits” Approach to Mask Guiding, Expert Says As Delta Variant Is Spotted In All US States

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“Part of the problem is that the CDC is trying to use a single recommendation for the country rather than being a little more surgical to identify hot spots where transmission is accelerating,” Dr Peter Hotez told Jake de CNN. Tap Wednesday.

Hotez, who is dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, noted that people living in areas with low vaccination rates and where the virus is more prevalent may not want to do the same activities. than people living in areas where vaccination rates are high and the virus is more contained.

Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Wyoming have the lowest vaccination rates in the country, with less than 35% of their total population fully vaccinated, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont have fully vaccinated more than 60% of their total population, the data shows.

The CDC’s current mask guidelines, which say fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask inside or out, must be more specific with the Delta variant in mind, said Hotez.

“I think that’s what we need from the CDC, is to be able to cut it a little thinner, to come up with… a strength of infection map that combines these two variables: low vaccination rates, high delta. These places are at high risk of transmission, including in some vaccinated people who will have chronic infections. “

With Delta variant more contagious, some officials release new mask guidelines
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Groundbreaking infections, while rare, occur when vaccinated people contract Covid-19. A recent CDC study showed that when vaccinated people get infected, they suffer from milder illness than unvaccinated people.

Dr Anthony Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday he did not expect the CDC to change its mask guidelines, but warned Americans must take the Delta variant seriously.

Fauci noted that vaccines make outbreaks of Covid-19 cases “fully preventable, fully preventable.”

Experts: children must dress up, even in the presence of fully vaccinated people

Children under 12 are another vulnerable group to Covid-19 variants because federal authorities have not allowed them to receive a vaccine.

Dr Yvonne Maldonado, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, told CNN on Wednesday that unvaccinated children should always mask themselves, even if they are surrounded by fully vaccinated people.

The Delta variant leaves children vulnerable to Covid-19.  Here's how to protect your kids

“The vast majority of new infections occur in unvaccinated individuals and the creation of a ‘cluster’ of vaccinated individuals around young children, as well as their masking and distancing in indoor and overcrowded environments, will be important. to keep them safe, “Maldonado said in an email to CNN.” For these unvaccinated children, it is recommended that you mask themselves, get away and avoid large crowds. “

Maldonado noted that there is not yet much information available on how the Delta variant may affect children.

Hotez echoed Maldonado’s position on children wearing masks.

“I would say for now, if your kids are old enough to wear masks, then they should do it when they’re inside, at least until we can put our arms around this Delta variant,” Hotez said, noting that parents should take their region’s vaccination rate and variant levels into account.

What parents need to know about children and the Delta variant

“It requires parents, and really everyone, to have some situational awareness of what their area looks like, what their condition looks like, what their county looks like in terms of vaccination rates and Delta variants,” he said. he explained.

Federal health officials plan to analyze vaccine data for children under 12 in the coming fall or winter, said Dr Peter Marks, who heads the Center for Biologics US Food and Drug Administration Evaluation and Research.

“It makes sense that it would take a little longer there, as there had to be dose de-escalation – lower doses used, basically dose de-escalation – and furthermore we want to see some follow-up data. longer to make sure we have the kind of security in this population, ”he said at a joint Johns Hopkins University and University of Washington symposium.

More research shows vaccines work and are very effective

As of Wednesday, 46.7% of the total United States population is fully vaccinated, according to CDC data. Over the past seven days, the United States has recorded an average of 26.6 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people.
Although still lagging behind, immunization coverage among young adults is improving, according to CDC data. In the past two weeks, the 18-24 age group made up 12.6% of those fully vaccinated, the CDC said.

CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky highlighted the growing number of hospitalizations among young people between the ages of 12 and 29 on Wednesday.

CDC study finds coronavirus vaccines cause milder illness in rare breakthrough infections

“The first thing I think it’s really important to recognize is that hospitalizations are generally going down for Covid in this country,” Walensky said, but since May, people aged 12 to 29 have accounted for about one-third of hospitalizations – a higher proportion than in the past.

“So as all hospitalizations go down, the proportion attributable to our young populations is actually increasing,” Walensky said.

Meanwhile, a new study highlights the importance of vaccines and the protection they offer.

The study of nearly 4,000 front-line health and emergency workers shows that the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines were 91% effective in preventing infection after two doses and 81% after one. single dose.

“If you get vaccinated about 90% of the time you won’t get COVID-19,” Dr. Jeff Burgess of the University of Arizona, who participated in the study, said in a statement. . “Even if you catch it, there will be less virus inside you and your illness will probably be much milder.”

Rise of Delta variant brings back the mask issue, even for the vaccinated

The team, led by CDC epidemiologist Mark Thompson, studied 3,975 healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential and frontline workers.

Study participants underwent weekly coronavirus tests from December 14, 2020 to April 10, 2021.

The virus was detected in 204 participants, of which five were fully vaccinated, 11 partially vaccinated and 156 unvaccinated, according to the New England Journal of Medicine report.

Those who were vaccinated and were infected anyway had less virus in their bodies – 40% less, the researchers added. People vaccinated were 58% less likely to have a fever. “And the duration of the illness was shorter, with 2.3 less days spent sick in bed,” the researchers said.

Only 39 of the workers received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and their results were not included.

CNN’s Sarah Braner, Jacqueline Howard, Virginia Langmaid, Maggie Fox, Naomi Thomas, Christina Bowllan and Lauren Mascaren contributed to this report.

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