GREENSBORO, N.C. — When the CDC went from saying that vaccinated people could go maskless to vaccinated people should still wear masks indoors in areas with a lot of COVID-19, it created a huge uproar. Lots of folks started saying this shows the vaccine does not work. That is false.
Here's the latest science from the CDC. They found if John is vaccinated, he has a strong level of protection. There's a very rare chance he'll get the virus.
If he does, he probably won't even feel it since he's protected from COVID-19 because of the vaccine. At worst, it will likely be similar to a mild cold.
So, John is walking around acting like nothing's wrong. With the original version of the virus, the Alpha variant, that was not a big deal. But with the new Delta variant, research shows John can now spread that virus to Susan who's not vaccinated. And Susan could get really sick because she's not protected. She might even die.
But if John wears a mask, the virus can't get to Susan. So, vaccinated people are still protected, but the CDC wants them to wear their masks to keep unvaccinated people from getting sick.
Here's why the CDC says vaccinated people should see wearing a mask as being in their best interest: There's a chance, as more and more people get sick, that another variant could pop up where the vaccine won't work. And we'll go back to the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
"The largest concern I think we in public health and science are worried about is that with the virus and the potential mutations, we are away from a very transmissible virus that has the potential to evade our vaccines in terms of how it protects us from severe disease and death," said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. "Right now, fortunately, we are not there. These vaccines operate really well in terms of protecting us from severe disease and death."
The bottom line: the CDC is changing recommendations to cover our bases by asking us to mask up to stop the spread.