The news spread all over the country – finally without masks!
People who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 they should no longer wear masks inside or outside, nor should they stand a meter away from others, according to new guidelines released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Does this mean that those Americans who were vaccinated at least two weeks ago – which means they have launched full immunity – can throw their masks in the air and embrace everyone in celebration?
You must cover yourself by public transport or, if required by law or regulation, this would apply to hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities, and even some local businesses and jobs. Children still have to disguise themselves to go to school.
Then there is the warning: “If you have a condition or are taking medicines that weaken your immune system, you may NOT be fully protected, even if you are fully vaccinated. Talk to your healthcare provider, ”says the new CDC guide. “Even after vaccination, you may need to continue to take all precautions.”
On Sunday, the state of the CNN Union, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Valensky said that people with immunocompromised should consult their doctors before deciding to stop wearing a mask, but others, including those at higher risk from heavy Covid-19, you may want to do it as well.
For the most part, studies now emerging suggest that immunocompromised people or those on drugs that disrupt their immune systems – such as people who have had an organ transplant or are on chemotherapy – may not have as much protection from Covid vaccines. -19. At least one study suggests that dialysis patients may also be less protected, she said.
There are a number of conditions that can weaken the immune system.
Some diseases, such as HIV / AIDS, can completely destroy the body’s ability to fight infection. Patients with organ transplants should take daily medications that suppress the immune system so that the new organ does not reject it. And chemotherapy works by killing cell growth to prevent cancer cells from multiplying, thus weakening the immune system.
“In addition to chemotherapy, certain types of immunotherapy, stem cell or bone marrow transplants, and other drugs can severely weaken the immune system,” said Lora Makarov, senior vice president of cancer prevention and early detection at the American Cancer Society.
People who are highly immunocompromised are told that they must remain fully masked and take extra precautions to protect themselves from any pathogens, and they want others to be masked to protect them.
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Common conditions that weaken the immune system
Very common diseases and conditions that affect millions of Americans can weaken the immune system, usually to a lesser extent. The body can react indiscriminately to invaders, making it more vulnerable to infections and viruses such as Covid-19.
Diabetes, for example, can lower immunity: There are 34.2 million people living with diabetes in the United States; another 88 million have prediabetes, according to the CDC.
Not all of them have a fragile immune system, but some do. One of them is Alyannah Buhman, who told CNN last August that worries about Covid-19 had left her “very on edge.”
“I get really sick,” she said. “I can’t fight anything to save my life. I’m starting to vomit everywhere. This is a horrible thought. “
Obesity can also be linked to weak immunity – more than 40% of Americans are obese – as well as chronic kidney disease, liver and heart disease and old age.
As for cancer, both current patients and survivors should consult their doctor before removing masks and other protection, Makarov said.
“For people who have a weakened immune system, both from the cancer itself and from treatment, you may not be fully protected, even if you are fully vaccinated. It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about what precautions you still need to take, ”she said.
Heart disease is the number one killer for men and women in the United States, but unlike cancer, “drugs used to treat heart disease are, for the most part, not immunosuppressive and should not pose any particular risk,” the U.S. said. Heart Disease Association President Dr. Mitchell Elkind.
“Patients with heart disease are at increased risk of adverse effects from Covid-19, but have the same benefits from vaccines as those without heart disease,” Elkind said.
“We recommend that patients with heart disease who have been vaccinated and not immunocompromised for any other reason follow the CDC guidelines on wearing masks and social distancing,” he said.
Because pregnant women are at higher risk for severe Covid-19, Walensky said the CDC encourages them to be vaccinated and the decision to remain undetected will be individual.
Millions of Americans live with common autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and lupus, said Dr. Cedric “Jamie” Rutland, a pulmonary and critical physician.
In autoimmune disorders, the immune system is confused by erroneously ordering its army of warriors to attack a person’s own body.
Drugs often used to treat autoimmune diseases are designed to suppress this overly zealous immune response – but it is not targeted. Instead, the drugs weaken the entire immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to upper respiratory and urinary tract infections, pneumonia, skin infections and, of course, Covid-19.
Several studies have also found that by controlling the immune response, people on autoimmune drugs may “not be as strong in response to the Covid-19 vaccine,” said Rutland, medical director of Rutland Medical Group in Newport Beach. , California.
A small study of 26 people with inflammatory diseases found that coronavirus antibody levels were slightly lower in these patients than in others, but no one was “completely unresponsive.”
A larger study of 133 people found a “threefold reduction” in antibodies to Covid-19 compared to healthy controls, with some drugs, such as glucocorticoids, being worse than others. However, the antibodies found in drug patients were “comparable to patients with rapid recovery from COVID-19 and could therefore provide adequate humoral protection,” the study said. The study is pre-printed, which means that it has not been checked by a journal for publication.
Although vaccination seems effective, Rutland said he plays it safe with his patients: “I take them off these (autoimmune) drugs before they are vaccinated so they can get the right immune response,” he said.
After all, how do you decide if you fit into the “weakened immune system” category? How do you know if you should think twice about joining masks without masks?
“What we would recommend is certainly for people who have immunocompromising diseases or are on these drugs to consult their doctors,” Valenski said.
“Really, again, not everyone has to take off their mask because our guidelines changed on Thursday,” she said. “So, yes, if you are concerned, please consult your doctor before removing your mask.”