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CDC director: ‘If you are vaccinated, you are safe from the variants’

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said vaccines stop COVID-19 variants

Savannah Guthrie and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky talk about COVID-19.
Savannah Guthrie and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky speak on the “Today” show.
“Today,” NBC News

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on the “Today” show Wednesday morning that vaccinated people don’t need to worry so much about COVID-19 variants.

  • “If you are vaccinated, you are safe from the variants that are circulating here in the United States,” she said.
  • She added, “We would suggest that you look to your local policies. ... Masking policies are not to protect the vaccinated, they’re to protect the unvaccinated.”

Walensky said those with compromised immunity and health may want to consider mandates and restrictions based on their own health.

  • “And then, of course, as we have always said, if you have an immunocompromising condition, if you might have had a transplant and you’re vaccinated, everybody should consider their own situation if they would feel more comfortable wearing a mask,” she said.

Walensky’s comments come after the World Health Organization said fully vaccinated people should wear face masks in public spaces and crowds to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus.

  • “People cannot feel safe just because they had the two doses. They still need to protect themselves,” said Dr. Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant director-general, last Friday, according to USA Today.

The CDC has yet to change its face mask guidance after the WHO updated its recommendation to include the new face mask suggestion.