Speed Reads

not far enough?

The CDC 'missed a critical opportunity' with its guidelines for vaccinated people, expert says

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has finally released guidelines for those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. But one expert thinks the agency didn't go far enough and, ultimately, passed up a major opportunity.

The CDC on Monday released interim recommendations saying that for those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, it's safe to hold small, mask-free gatherings with others who have been fully vaccinated. Vaccinated people can visit unvaccinated people at low risk for COVID-19, the CDC also said.

But in a Washington Post op-ed, Dr. Leana Wen, a physician and medical analyst for CNN, argued the guidelines are "too timid and too limited." For example, she objects to the fact that CDC is still saying fully vaccinated people practice the same precautions as those who haven't been vaccinated when it comes to activities outside of the home like traveling.

"This fails the common-sense test," Wen writes. "The CDC said nearly a month ago that vaccinated individuals, if asymptomatic, do not need to quarantine or get tested if exposed to someone with COVID-19. If risk of infection is so low that even exposure to the virus doesn't require quarantine, why can't we say that vaccinated people can resume activities around people who probably don't have COVID-19?"

She goes on to argue that the CDC should actually encourage fully vaccinated people to travel while practicing precautions at their destination, and with other activities, officials can offer "risk estimates." Ultimately, Wen says the Biden administration should be presenting vaccines as a "ticket back to pre-pandemic life," but with these new guidelines, the CDC missed a "critical opportunity to incentivize Americans to be vaccinated."

On Tuesday, CNN reported the CDC discussed offering new travel recommendations for fully vaccinated people, but "there was never a lot of momentum behind adjusting" the recommendations. Read the full op-ed at The Washington Post.