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Here’s What’s Behind the CDC’s Mask U-Turn

The Grind:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has finally released the data that was behind its recent backtrack on mask recommendations for vaccinated Americans to wear masks in indoor places in COVID-19 hot spots.

The Details:
In a report published on Friday, the federal health agency detailed a COVID-19 outbreak earlier this month in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, linked to the spread of the Indian ‘Delta’ variant.

Researchers found nearly three-quarters of the infections occurred in people who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with either of three shots approved in the U.S. for emergency use.

What’s more, tests showed that immunized people carried about the same viral levels in their noses and throats as unvaccinated people did…

On July 10, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health began receiving reports of an increased number of cases linked to the county…

By July 26, 469 cases had been identified, of which 74 percent – or 346 – were among fully vaccinated with at least 14 days since their final dose.

Among this group, 46 percent had received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, 38 percent got the Moderna vaccine and 16 percent got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The remaining 26 percent, or 84 cases, were among people who were unvaccinated, had only received one dose or whose vaccination status was unknown. Read more…

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