CDC Eases Indoor Mask-Wearing Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

Jennifer Barrett

Jennifer Barrett is the senior editor for Drug Topics® and Total Pharmacy®.

The CDC today announced an updated guidance on mask wearing and social distancing for individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Do you think it's safe to ease indoor mask wearing for fully vaccinated people?

The CDC is easing up on indoor mask-wearing and social distancing guidance for individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.1 

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, announced the new recommendations during a White House briefing on Thursday. The new guidance still calls for wearing masks in certain crowded indoor settings, such as planes, buses, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters. The ease in restrictions will likely help pave the way for more reopenings – for workplaces, schools, and many other venues.

“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor or outdoor activities–large or small–without wearing a mask or physically distancing,” Walensky said in the briefing. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”

The agency also no longer recommends that fully vaccinated individuals wear masks in outdoor crowds.

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated once they are 2 weeks past their last required COVID-19 vaccine dose. According to the CDC, there are currently more than 117 million Americans who are fully vaccinated and nearly 154 million who have received at least 1 dose.2

References

  1. Miller Z, Balsamo M. Govt eases up guidance on indoor mask-wearing. Associated Press. May 13, 2021. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-masks-cdc-guidelines-9d10c8b5f80a4ac720fa1df2a4fb93e5
  2. COVID Data Tracker. CDC. Updated May 12, 2021. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations