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Vaccinated Americans can now safely participate “in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing masks or respecting physical distancing,” the federal public health agency said Thursday. The obligation to go out masked remains in public transport.
It’s a “big day,” according to Joe Biden. Americans vaccinated against Covid-19 can say goodbye to one of the symbols of the pandemic: for them, the health authorities lifted their recommendation to wear a mask on Thursday, May 13.
“If you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask!”, Rejoiced the US president from the gardens of the White House. “I think this is a big step, a big day,” he added, calling on all Americans not yet vaccinated to do so without delay.
Currently, about 35% of the US population, or over 117 million people, are fully vaccinated, that is, they have received either the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or both doses of the vaccine. vaccines from Moderna or Pfizer / BioNTech.
They can now participate without risk “in activities indoors and outdoors, small or large, without wearing a mask or respecting physical distancing,” announced Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for the Prevention and Control of Diseases (CDC ), the main federal public health agency. “We have all waited a long time for this moment when we could find a semblance of normality”, she welcomed, without triumphalism in view of the more than 580,000 deaths of the virus in the country.
Low risk of infection and contagion
The only exception: the health authorities always recommend that vaccinated people continue to wear a mask in transport (planes, buses, trains, etc.) as well as in airports and train stations.
Health authorities stressed that they had based their decision on the latest scientific data: studies have shown that vaccines are not only effective against symptomatic cases, but also against the very possibility of being infected, as well as against circulating variants, explained Rochelle Walensky. She also stressed the fact that the few people who fell ill although they had been vaccinated were still not very contagious.
Another factor that played in favor of this change: the number of Covid-19 cases has fallen sharply in the country. The seven-day daily infection average has fallen to around 36,000 cases, and the curve for daily deaths is at its lowest since early April 2020.
“If you develop symptoms, you must put your mask back on and get tested immediately,” said Rochelle Walensky, however. She also warned that if the health situation worsened, these recommendations could still be amended.
But experts believe that this scenario should no longer occur, thanks to the vigorous vaccination campaign. More than 250,000 injections have been carried out in 114 days since the start of Joe Biden’s mandate, the latter said. And on Thursday, American teens between the ages of 12 and 15 were also able to start getting vaccinated with the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.