The WHO said on Friday that people vaccinated against COVID-19 should remain in masks in high-transmission areas, the day after the mask’s American farewell.
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The United States, which has seen a significant drop in the number of COVID-19 cases, announced on Thursday that it was lifting the recommendation to wear a mask for vaccinated people.
Exception: Health officials always recommend that vaccinated persons continue to wear the mask during transport (airplanes, buses, trains, etc.) as well as at airports and train stations.
When asked about this change, World Health Organization experts did not comment directly, emphasizing that everything depends on the epidemiological context of each country. But they recalled that vaccines did not provide 100% protection from COVID.
“Even in situations where vaccine coverage is high, if there is too much transmission, you will not remove your mask,” Michael Ryan, director in-charge of health emergencies at the WHO, said in a conference press release.
“In the case of a country that wants to reduce or eliminate the wearing of masks or eliminate other public health and social activities, this should only be done by taking into account the severity of the transmission in the area. And the level of immunity coverage,” he said.
WHO Scientific Chief Soumya Swaminathan explained that vaccines “protect against infection in the range of 70 to 80%”.
So it is not surprising that one can still be infected and have asymptomatic or mild illness even after vaccination.
“It simply came to our notice then. Until countries reach a level where a large number of people are protected and the transmission and transmission of the virus reaches a very low level, ”she said.
For experts, “so very few countries can abandon these measures (…). In most countries, we have to keep doing this. “
The United States is conducting an extensive vaccination campaign. More than 250,000 injections have been made in 114 days since the Joe Biden command began. On Thursday, American teenagers between the ages of 12 and 15 were also able to start vaccinating.