The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is finalizing a guide aimed at clarifying what Americans who have receivedit should and shouldn’t do, according to two agency sources familiar with its wording.
The next guide, first reported by Politico, is expected to include that fully vaccinated people should be able to meet in small groups with other people who have also been vaccinated. Currently, the CDC does not recommend in-person meetings with the general public, saying that “meeting virtually or with the people you live with is the safest option.”
Even for people who have been fully vaccinated, other mitigation measures will continue to be recommended, including wearing a mask in public and social distancing.
Sources did not specify when exactly this guide would be released, but one said it would be released when finalized “later this week.”
At the White House COVID-19 response briefing on Monday, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, anticipated the guidance saying that small meetings between people who are “double vaccinated” are low risk, “so low that you don’t have to wear a mask, so you can have a good social gathering within the home.”
Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses;It will only take one shot. That vaccine received an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration over the weekend and doses begin to be administered this week.
The guide comes when the nation is at a crossroads in its fight against the virus. In the past month, the average daily case nationwide has dropped more than 50%, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, but that progress has stalled. In the past week, CDC data indicates that average new cases increased by nearly 2%.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in Monday’s briefing that she remained “deeply concerned about a possible change in the trajectory of the pandemic.” States across the country, including New York, Massachusetts and Arkansas, are loosening restrictions on COVID-related businesses, adding to fears that the United States is letting its guard down too soon. On Tuesday, Texas became the third state to rescind its statewide mask mandate in recent days, joining Montana and Iowa.
At the same time, the pace of vaccinations continues to increase and, with more Americans vaccinated, the need for new guidance on what this population can do safely has increased. But Walensky stressed that now is not the time to resume travel or ignore other security measures.
“The goal in those first 100 days has always been to make sure we are in a place to be out of this pandemic,” he said. “With 70,000 cases a day, we are not in that place right now.”