To Many, the CDC's Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People A Dud.
Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
The CDC released its post-vaccination recommendations on Monday, and it seems that the only significant differences compared to prior guidelines is that it is now making it acceptable for post-vaccinated, asymptomatic individuals to meet in small gatherings without a mask and asymptomatic, fully vaccinated people coming into contact with a person who has COVID-19 no longer has to quarantine. Additionally, in the world of healthcare, the CDC is now allowing for indoor visitation of unvaccinated residents in post-acute care facilities except when the overall county positivity rate is less >10% and <70% of the residents in the facility are fully vaccinated. Under such circumstances, the CDC is recommending that indoor visitations be limited to compassionate care situations only.
According to the guidelines, a person is considered vaccinated two weeks after he or she has received the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after having received the single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
The CDC reports it developed the guidelines after considering "the benefits of reducing social isolation and relaxing some measures such as quarantine requirements." Additionally, in a classic case of enticement, the CDC said, "taking steps towards relaxing certain measures for vaccinated persons may help improve COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and uptake."
But some inconsistencies in the CDC recommendations still exist. For example, in public places the CDC's current guidelines state, "fully vaccinated people should continue to follow guidance to protect themselves and others, including a well-fitted mask, physical distancing (at least 6 feet), avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly ventilated spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance." Yet those same scenarios in small gatherings, even protracted ones where the risk of exposure may be just as great if not greater, do not merit similar precautions.
Another area where the CDC is receiving criticism is in its reluctance to change the guidelines for traveling. Despite the 95.7 million administered doses at an average of 2.17 million doses per day, the CDC did not make any adjustments to its travel recommendations, nor do the present recommendations take into account the traveler's vaccination status. Sadly, the CDC's position on travel is still an excessively restrictive one with its call for individuals to avoid it altogether and a recommendation that travelers undergo COVID-19 testing prior to and following their journeys. On the other hand, at least for now, the famed "vaccination passport" has not been recommended by the CDC.
Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He served in the Florida House of Representatives. He is the author of numerous books including The Federalist Pages, The Case for Free Market Healthcare, and Coronalessons. He is available for appearances and book signings, and can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com.