At long last the US has reached an encouraging milestone: more Americans have been vaccinated against COVID-19 than have had the infection.
More than 31 million Americans have had two doses of vaccines from Moderna or Pfizer, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson’s newly-authorized shot.
That exceeds the 29 million US cases of COVID-19 counted by Johns Hopkins University since the pandemic began.
It comes as new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines finally give vaccinated people a roadmap back toward normality, with new advice released Monday allowing millions of fully vaccinated elderly people to see other vaccinated people or unvaccinated but low risk people, like grandchildren.
But the guidelines say that people who have been vaccinated still need to wear masks in public where they might be around unvaccinated people and caution them not to travel.
Johns Hopkins expert Dr Martin Makary slammed the guidelines as ‘overly restrictive,’ arguing that ‘to tell people who are fully vaccinated that they can’t travel just goes to show how overly excessive some of these policies are,’ during a Tuesday Fox News interview.
Dr Martin Makary, a Johns Hopkins University professor (right) said that the CDC’s new guidelines are ‘too restrictive’ during a Tuesday Fox News interview
While the pace of vaccinations has picked up considerably, less than 10 percent of the US population has been fully vaccinated, according to Bloomberg data.
With more vaccine supply now available from all three shot makers, the US is giving an average of 2.2 million shots a day.
Vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer are estimated to prevent more than 94 percent of symptomatic cases of COVID-19 and Johnson & Johnson’s was 72 percent effective in US trials.
But those studies did not prove conclusively that that shots prevent mild illness or transmission of coronavirus.
Evidence from the early days of vaccination suggests that the shots probably prevent or at least reduce transmission risks, but it’s too soon to say for sure.
In an effort to balance the unknowns with the desperate need for elderly people to be reunited with family, the CDC says that fully vaccinated people can spend time with other fully vaccinated people indoors with their masks off.
They can also spend time with low-risk, unvaccinated people, but only from one other household, the CDC said.
The US is only just past the holiday surge, when the millions of Americans crisscrossing the country to see family spread coronavirus at unprecedented rates.
Since scientists have yet to see proof-positive that the vaccines prevent transmission, the CDC said in its new guidance that even fully vaccinated people should not travel, in case they might be able to silently carry virus without symptoms.
But Makary – a pancreatic surgeon by training, who has become a professor of public health, editor of MedPage and rising pundit -\ believes that the uncertainty of whether vaccines prevent transmission should not hold people back from socializing.
‘People need to get out thee, loneliness is a problem, isolation kills people,’ he said.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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