CDC’s Latest Moves Could Increase Vaccine Hesitancy, Analysts Say

The Centers for Disease Control updated guidelines as cases of the Delta variant have increased, but a statistical analysis by the Heritage Foundation regarding COVID-19 breakthrough infections and deaths shows just how flawed the CDC’s latest moves could be.

Kevin Dayaratna and Norbert Michel say in their analysis that new data does not support the CDC’s implication that vaccines offer little protection against the Delta variant and that the agency’s latest move to re-impose mask mandates runs the risk of increasing vaccine hesitancy.

“Health guidelines must reflect the reality that vaccines provide significant protection against serious illness or death from the virus, including the Delta variant,” the analysis reads.

The CDC’s updates include recommending that the fully vaccinated “wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.” Per the analysis, they also recommend:

  1. Fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease, or not fully vaccinated;
  2. Fully vaccinated people who have come into close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be tested three to
    five days after exposure, and wear a mask in public indoor settings for
    14 days or until they receive a negative test result; and
  3. Universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors
    to schools, regardless of vaccination status.
Screenshot courtesy of The Heritage Foundation analysis.

The analysis shows that vaccines provide substantial protection against COVID –
19 — among the fully vaccinated, these figures represent 0.003%
hospitalized and 0.0007% deaths. These percentages indicate that the odds of a fully vaccinated person being hospitalized due to COVID-19 are approximately 1 in 31,000, while the odds of dying are 1 in 137,000.

The analysis suggests that the COVID-19 vaccines have been effective. It also highlights the bad policy recommendations from the CDC, which has been known to botch things.

The full analysis can be read here.

Written by Megan Turner

Megan graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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