The newly updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance stating that people who have been fully vaccinated can enjoy a range of activities outside without wearing masks should spur younger people to get a COVID-19 vaccine, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday.
“The bottom line is clear: if you’re vaccinated, you can do more things more safely both outdoors as well as indoors. So for those who haven’t gotten their vaccination yet, especially if you are younger or think you don’t need it, this is another great reason to go get vaccinated now. Now,” Biden said in remarks from the North Lawn at the White House.
“Yes, the vaccines are about saving your life. But also the lives of the people around you. But they’re also about helping us get back to closer to normal in our living, more normal living. Getting together with friends, going to the park for a picnic without needing to mask up. We are back to that place now, as long as you get vaccinated. Go get the shot. It’s never been easier. And once you are fully vaccinated, you can go without a mask when you’re outside and away from big crowds,” he added.
The new guidance says people who are either vaccinated or not can safely walk, run, or bike outdoors with people from their household without masks, in addition to attending small gatherings with fully vaccinated family and friends.
But those who are not vaccinated should keep wearing masks if there are unvaccinated people at outdoor gatherings or if they’re dining at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households, according to the health agency.
And regardless of vaccination status, people should wear masks when attending crowded outdoor events like a live performance.
The CDC pointed to this science brief from earlier this month when asked for the evidence supporting its recommendations.
Biden said the CDC was able to loosen the guidelines “because our scientists are convinced by the data that the odds of getting or giving the virus to others is very, very low if you’re both fully vaccinated and out in the open air.”
He thanked CDC scientists and “everyone who has gotten a vaccine for doing your patriotic duty.”
As of Tuesday, 96.7 million Americans, or about 29 percent of the population, have been fully vaccinated against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19.
Another 45 million have received one of two doses.
The United States initially prioritized high-risk groups like the elderly, but recently expanded COVID-19 vaccine availability to all Americans 16 and older. Clinical trials for safety and efficacy of the jabs for children 15 and younger are underway.