CDC: Vaccines and Masks are Must During Holidays

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued advisory guidelines for safer holiday celebration. Most important advise for those who have not been vaccinated is to get Covid-19 vaccine before people getting together.

“By working together, we can enjoy safer holidays, travel, and protect our own health as well as the health of our family and friends,” the CDC website said.

Unvaccinated adults in the US face an 11 times higher risk of dying from Covid-19 than fully vaccinated individuals and a six times higher risk of testing positive for Covid-19.

Source: The CDC Website

Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told CNN Health “I think we’re making some important progress in terms of increasing vaccinations, but the fact of the matter is there are still dangerous gaps in immunity throughout the country, and as long as that’s the case, there are still pathways for the virus to spread”.

“I’d like to think that the worst is behind us, just given how much we’ve already endured in terms of high numbers of cases but also increasing progress in increasing vaccination. So I don’t think that a rise in cases in the winter will be as bad as last year’s winter surge, but there’s nothing built into the decline that means that the momentum will be sustained. What we will see is really up to us.”

The CDC advisory states the following special considerations for the holiday celebration:

Holiday celebration: Special Considerations
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated and have received an additional dose. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
  • You might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission if a member of your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.
  • If you are gathering with a group of people from multiple households and potentially from different parts of the country, you could consider additional precautions (e.g., avoiding crowded indoor spaces before travel, taking a test) in advance of gathering to further reduce risk.
  • Do NOT put a mask on children younger than 2 years old.

Source: The CDC: Holiday Celebration

“Holiday traditions are important for families and children. There are several ways to enjoy holiday traditions and protect your health. Because many generations tend to gather to celebrate holidays, the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep your family and friends safer is to get vaccinated if you’re eligible,” the CDC said.

Coronavirus-19 vaccination watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of October 19, 9 a.m.) 495,844,635 doses have been distributed and 409,438,987 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data (as of October 17) a total of 6,728,296 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of October 19) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 763,915 (out of 13,245,697 tested) with 8,457 deaths.