The Bristol Press – HEALTHY LIVING: Clarifying Covid-19 points

Central Connecticut Hospital

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently changed their mask guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals. The state of Connecticut also lifted certain restrictions put in place at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Henry Anyimadu, MD, an infectious disease specialist at the Hospital of Central Connecticut (HOCC) in New Britain, helps provide answers and clarity to some of the questions and concerns people have about COVID-19.

Why did the CDC change the mask instructions?

It is now very clear that people who are fully vaccinated are much less likely to experience serious complications, hospitalizations, or even deaths from COVID-19. The data also show that the risk of spreading the virus to other people is very small with full vaccination. In conclusion, the CDC came out saying that if you are fully vaccinated you don’t need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors. Fully vaccinated means at least two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and two weeks after receiving the individual vaccination of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. There are exceptions to walking without a mask, however. People still need to wear a mask when in schools, healthcare, public transport, and other situations.

What if i am vaccinated but am afraid to take my mask off in public?

The infection rate is currently very low. However, the masking really depends on your level of comfort. So if you are unwilling to take the mask off or are still concerned, then wear your mask.

If parents are fully vaccinated and do not wear a mask in public, what should they do with their young children?

We know that children under the age of 12 cannot currently be vaccinated. We also know that toddlers are very unlikely to get seriously ill with the virus – so the risk is low. However, since they have not been vaccinated, we must continue to protect them. Whenever you take your children to a restaurant or shop, wear a mask and physically distance yourself so that they are protected.

What is your advice to people who are reluctant to get vaccinated?

I think the benefits are now obvious. If you are fully vaccinated you are very unlikely to get seriously ill with COVID-19 and your risk of passing it on to someone is very small. This is a big reason why people who are still reluctant to get the vaccine should get it. When the majority of the people in a community get vaccinated, more normalcy can be achieved, which is an incentive. We know the vaccines are very safe and work the way they’re supposed to – so there’s no need to wait any longer. Get vaccinated if you can.

Dr. Henry Anyimadu is an infectious disease specialist at the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines and where to get a vaccine, please visit www.hartfordhealthcare.org/vaccine. Vaccines are available by appointment or on foot.

Posted in The Bristol Press, General News on Monday 31 May 2021 at 2:52 p.m. Updated: Monday, May 31, 2021 2:55 PM.

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