CDC Says It's Safe For Vaccinated People To Do These Activities
Speaker 1: 00:00 Vaccinated grandparents, visiting their families, vaccinated groups, socializing without masks. Those tantalizing scenarios are part of the new guidelines for vaccinated. People released today by the CDC. The guidelines offer a glimpse of a post pandemic life for fully vaccinated people two weeks after their final injection. It's the kind of good news we've been waiting almost a year for, but the CDC warns, there are still risks. Even when people are fully vaccinated, especially in larger groups. And with older unvaccinated people joining me is Dr. Mark Sawyer and infectious disease specialist with Rady children's hospital and UC San Diego. Dr. Sawyer also served on the panels that recommended the FDA authorized the Medina Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. And Dr. Sorry. You're welcome. It's good to join you. It's good to have you. Now, these guidelines differ from previous CDC advice where masks were required in just about all settings, even after vaccination. Why have the guidelines changed? Speaker 2: 01:05 Well, for one thing, we've, we've learning more and more about the effectiveness of the vaccines. And, and we, I think we we've been talking about how effective we thought they were, but now we're seeing them in real life and they really are working extremely well to prevent people from getting ill and especially high risk individuals. Speaker 1: 01:24 The guidelines don't come out and say that fully vaccinated people can finally hug low risk members of their families like grandchildren, but the implication is that's okay, isn't it? Speaker 2: 01:37 Yes. The guidelines are predicated on the notion that if you're fully vaccinated, the chance that you are going to be carrying the backs, the infection and giving it to somebody else, who's also fully vaccinated is extremely low. It's not zero, but it's extremely low. So, so the CDC is saying we can get back to life. As we used to know it, if you're only around people who are fully vaccinated Speaker 1: 02:05 And also low risk members of families like grandchildren, isn't that right? Speaker 2: 02:09 That's right. We among the things we have learned over the last six months is that young children are very unlikely to transmit infection. So they can't be vaccinated now yet, but they are considered low risk for transmission. So it's okay for a vaccinated grandmother to be around they're unvaccinated, young grandchildren. Speaker 1: 02:29 What about fully vaccinated people being around children from another household, and those children may be at higher risk of complications from the virus. What's the advice? Speaker 2: 02:40 Well, the general advice is if you're, even if you're vaccinated, if you're around people who are at high risk from getting Coke, when they get COVID, then you should still follow the standard precautions we have been following nothing is a hundred percent here. So to be extra careful with high risk people, you should continue to wear mask and socially distance Speaker 1: 03:01 Out in public, in larger gatherings, our masks and social distancing still advised for people who were fully vaccinated in those settings. Speaker 2: 03:10 Yes. We want people to continue to follow the guidelines in, in public settings, because you have no idea who's around you, whether they're contagious, how contagious they are, you have to keep in mind. The vaccine is not 100% effective, so you could still get sick. And on top of that, we're still waiting for evidence about whether the vaccine keeps you from actually acquiring the infection. Even if you don't get symptoms, if you acquire the infection in are contagious, then you could then pass it onto somebody else. Speaker 1: 03:41 Since older people have been at highest risk for severe illness, and that's the group who've gotten most of the vaccinations so far, there's a great deal of relief that the mental stress of isolation might be lifted by these new guidelines. What impact do you think that's going to have? Speaker 2: 03:58 Oh, I think it's going to be huge. Uh, I just had my mother who's 98, uh, over to my house to visit the grandparent grandchildren. Great-grandchildren yesterday for the first time in a year. And you could tell from the look on her face, that it made a great deal of difference. Speaker 1: 04:16 Yeah. You must've seen a lot of that in your work with Rady children's hospital, how the isolation was affecting family. Speaker 2: 04:24 Yeah. It's affecting all of us, but it's certainly affecting seniors who have been confined to their, to their apartments or houses or, or long-term care facilities. It's impacting children. We're seeing that in their learning and school and socialization. So this new CDC guideline is great news and it paves the way for future guidance as we get more and more of the population vaccinated, Speaker 1: 04:49 Even with this good news, there's still a great deal of concern about the Corona virus variants and how our vaccines may not be able to control them. Do you share those concerns? Speaker 2: 05:02 Certainly the variants are something we have to watch very closely. There's there are an increasing number of them and that's inevitable and will continue. As long as we're having a pandemic. The key to controlling them is to get everybody vaccinated, but we will monitor how the current vaccines are working. And the good news here is that the companies are already working on backup vaccines. That should deal with the variance. If we find that we need that, Speaker 1: 05:30 There's been some suggestion that people might need a booster vaccination in the fall because of the variance, is that likely, Speaker 2: 05:38 It's very hard, really hard to predict the current vaccines look like they're still working against the variance. So as long as that's true, we will not need a booster as early as this fall, but each new variant has to be analyzed and determined whether the vaccine still work. And if we get to a point where the vaccines may not be working, then a booster or a second vaccine will be required, Speaker 1: 06:02 Just so that we're all on the same page here. Is it possible for you to sum up the new guidelines? Speaker 2: 06:08 I guess the quick summary is that if you're fully vaccinated and are all around other fully vaccinated people, you can return to your life as you knew it without a mask and without social distancing, if you are around very low risk people like grandchildren, you can also resume life as we know it. But when you're out in public around people, you don't know, you should continue to follow the guidelines of masking and distancing Speaker 1: 06:37 Health officials say that the new guidelines offering more interaction, the promise of not wearing masks all the time will actually encourage people to get vaccinated. Do you see that happening? Speaker 2: 06:49 I think so. I mean, there have been people who have been reluctant to get vaccinated in part because they didn't see what it was going to do for them. If they didn't perceive that they were at high risk themselves. But now this is going to show them that by getting vaccinated, they can return closer to life as we knew it. And it's also going to help the overall effort to get the population vaccinated. Speaker 1: 07:12 I have been speaking with Dr. Mark Sawyer and infectious disease specialist with Rady children's hospital and UC San Diego, Dr. Soria as always. Thank you so much. Speaker 2: 07:22 Thank you, Maureen.