The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was criticized for not providing statistics when it revised its mask recommendation this week to advise even vaccinated individuals to wear masks inside parts of the country.
Now it has — and the results are dismal.
469 instances of COVID-19 were reported in Provincetown, Mass., starting on July 3. Three-quarters of the instances occurred in persons who were completely vaccinated, according to the study's findings. Vaccination rates in Massachusetts are high, at 69 percent for eligible individuals at the time of the research.
It also found no significant difference between the viral loads of the breakthrough infections that occurred in fully vaccinated people and those that occurred in the other cases, suggesting that the viral loads of vaccinated and unvaccinated people who were infected with the coronavirus are similar in magnitude.
The CDC said its decision to alter its mask recommendation was based on its observation that fully vaccinated people might spread the infection.
"High viral loads imply a higher risk of transmission and have generated worry that, unlike other variations, vaccinated persons infected with Delta can spread the virus," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a statement Friday.
"A crucial discovery that led to the CDC's revised mask recommendation, this finding is alarming. Updated recommendations on masking were made to guarantee that the vaccinated population did not unintentionally spread the virus to others, particularly their unvaccinated or immunocompromised loved ones" Walensky remarked on this.
However, COVID-19 vaccination continues to provide excellent protection against hospitalization and mortality due to the virus. Pfizer's vaccination gives more than 90 percent protection against hospitalization and mortality, according to three trials from Canada, Singapore, and Scotland, for example.
As a matter of fact, the Provincetown epidemic is proof of the vaccinations' efficacy.
Morse said there had been no deaths and only seven hospitalizations among the 900 cases now linked to the cluster. "The symptoms are mostly minor," he added on Twitter.
"Today's optimism was 4.8 percent, down from 15 percent on July 15. Provincetown is now protected from the epidemic "Morse was also included.
Although those who have been immunized are not required to wear masks, the CDC has modified its mask guideline to urge that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks when in public settings where the virus's spread is "substantial" or "high."
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