CDC: Vaccinated Can Go Outside Without Mask
Speaker 1: 00:00 New guidelines on mask squaring announced by president Biden today should have fully vaccinated people taking a big breath of fresh air. Speaker 2: 00:07 I want to be absolutely clear if you're in a crowd like a stadium or at a conference or concert, you still need to wear a mask, even if you're outside. But beginning today gathered a group of friends in a park, going for a picnic. As long as you are vaccinated and outdoors, you can do it without a mask. Speaker 1: 00:34 Health officials say those fully vaccinated do not have to wear masks when gathering and dining outdoors in small groups. Even with those who may not have been vaccinated, but there are voices of caution being raised about the vaccinated being too certain. They're now safe from COVID. The CDC says 5,800 us cases of COVID infection have been reported in people who've been fully vaccinated. That's a tiny percentage of the millions who've gotten their shots, but it comes as an unwelcome surprise to those who thought there was no chance of getting sick. Johnny means Dr. Shira. Abeles an infectious disease specialist at UC San Diego health. Dr. Abel is welcome to the program. Thank you so much for having me in that tiny percentage of vaccinated. People who've come down with a virus. Does that mean that the vaccination just didn't take? Speaker 3: 01:24 No, I think it's a number of different factors, but we do know that no vaccination, no vaccine is perfect. No vaccine is a hundred percent. Um, and what we do think is that for the vast majority of people who do get COVID after being vaccinated, it's a milder course than anticipated, which is what we ultimately hope for. We want to prevent deaths and illness. Speaker 1: 01:47 Can you tell if the vaccine is stimulating your immune system the way it should? Speaker 3: 01:52 I don't think we know that yet. And we think people get the vaccine and have what's called reactive genicity, which we always encourage them to feel good about. But even if you don't have the very sore arm, the chills or, or fatigue that a lot of people have, um, we do believe that people are getting very good immune responses regardless. So there are some ways to do antibody tests, but generally they don't equate with protection. So there is caution across the board and reassurance across the board. When you get vaccinated. Speaker 1: 02:24 Now, someone who's been fully vaccinated may not think they need a COVID test. If they feel ill with a call for a fever, but should they get one Speaker 3: 02:32 Again, these aren't a hundred percent effective and we know there's generally less other kinds of illnesses going around. So if anyone particularly has a fever, loses their sense of smell, feels unwell. They should get tested for COVID-19. Speaker 1: 02:47 Now new CDC guidelines have been released today on mask wearing people who've been fully vaccinated can do most activities outdoors without a mask, everything except being in a large crowd of people. Do you believe now is the right time to relax those guidelines? Speaker 3: 03:03 We've learned a lot about the spread of COVID-19. And so we do know that outdoors is the safest location because the air is constantly moving. And so it doesn't have that ability to build up and cause an increased risk of infection. So being outdoors is safer across the board, then having the added step of being vaccinated. I think everyone's had a really tough year and are looking for a sigh of relief. And so guiding people to do that outdoors and in small groups is hopefully going to promote vaccination and also discouraged from doing indoor gatherings, which are higher risk for transmission, um, and move away from that and promoting being outdoors, which we're lucky to be in San Diego for that reason. Speaker 1: 03:51 At what point do you expect that indoor prohibition or that indoor masked guideline to change? Speaker 3: 03:57 That's another excellent question. I think we need more time, more vaccines, more therapies. I think it will be processed just how we kind of have a process for when things get worse. Step-by-step step adding restrictions. We're going to take it equally the other way, because we have variants of concern that we have to account for in our planning. And we don't want to feel completely sure when we know that there's very active virus in the world that could pose risk and we want to avoid any risks to our community. Speaker 1: 04:29 Assume that you have been fully vaccinated. I wonder what it is that you still decide not to do well or what precautions you still choose to take. Speaker 3: 04:41 I am fully vaccinated and that was a really great relief, but I've never stopped my masking. Um, and I definitely, I also have young children and so modeling for them masking cause they don't have the capacity to get vaccinated. This time is really important. So I'm a big proponent of doing it, but among the accelerated people, you know, I feel very comfortable being outdoors, um, for really important milestones. Um, such as visiting with grandma, you know, we allow for that, we do use some testing sometimes, but there are certain life decisions and small group gatherings that we feel comfortable with as a family making those decisions. Speaker 1: 05:23 And what do you see as like the final frontier of society reopening? Is it large gatherings? Massless is it frequent travel on airplanes? Speaker 3: 05:34 Yeah. So if I think about, you know, packing an audience for a musical performance where people are dancing and singing and shouting and it closely packed area, you know, if we can get there, I think that will be kind of one of the last steps where we feel comfortable just cause that's so high risk. Um, and there's other things we can do to mitigate, um, transmission in those kinds of settings, like being outdoors, um, and spacing them out. So I think we're still a far way off from that, unfortunately for particularly the young people. Speaker 1: 06:09 And do you think we'll know if fully vaccinated people will need a booster shot? Speaker 3: 06:14 I think by a year's time, I think luckily the vaccines are being designed and worked on as we speak in the anticipation of that. So I wouldn't anticipate that we would be doing boosters before a year's time. Um, but possibly at a year or some interval soon thereafter, Speaker 1: 06:33 I've been speaking with Dr. Shira Abeles and infectious disease specialist at UC San Diego health and doctor. Thank you so much. Speaker 3: 06:40 Thank you so much. This was such a pleasure to talk to you.