With the school year starting soon, debates are raging across the country about whether students should wear masks or not. Both the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that all staff and students wear masks, regardless of whether they’re vaccinated or not.
Yet only eight U.S. states are requiring students to wear masks, and eight other states have made it legally impossible for any schools to require masks. …
After weeks of pressure from public health experts and mounting evidence of the risk that vaccinated people can transmit Delta variant Covid-19 infections, the CDC finally reversed course on their mask guidance. Just days after doubling down on the agency’s worst Covid-related recommendation since Biden took office, CDC director Rochelle Walensky backtracked Tuesday and said the CDC recommends the following people wear masks indoors even if they’re fully vaccinated:
The past two weeks have felt confusing, frustrating, and sudden for many people. As Covid-19 infection rates declined more and more throughout the summer, things started to feel a bit more normal-ish for many people.
Some felt like the pandemic was finally ending despite public health experts warning that it wasn’t and that another wave would arrive by fall. And then — BAM! — seemingly out of nowhere, the delta variant hit hard and fast. It’s now responsible for 83% of all infections in the U.S.
Now, just as families and schools are preparing for the upcoming school year, people…
Epidemiologists regularly warned of the risks of small group gatherings, particularly indoors, during the pandemic before vaccines were available. News stories about superspreader family events popped up now and then, and infectious disease experts warned that these small indoor gatherings were a substantial driver of infections.
But the evidence was limited because this phenomenon is an incredibly difficult one to study. It’s hard to know how many gatherings are happening, and people may not be forthcoming about having hosted or attended a gathering when local policies advised against it or outright forbade it.
Recently, a group of researchers figured out…
One of the most overlooked groups in Covid-related guidelines is organ transplant recipients. When the CDC announced that people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 could toss out their masks and begin rejoining normal life, the agency neglected to mention that this may not be safe for many of the 10 million-plus people in the US who are immune-compromised.
As I’ve written in depth at National Geographic, immune-compromised people are a hugely diverse group: some have immune systems impaired by a disease or other condition, others are impaired by medication to treat a condition, and yet others have both working against them…
People not vaccinated against Covid-19 are twice as likely to pass the infection on to others in their household as people who have Covid-19 but have gotten one dose of a vaccine, according to a new study. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine June 23, looked at the Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines.
It can take years before scientists and physicians learn all the ways a new disease can affect people, both acutely while they have the disease and chronically with long-term issues that may not show up until years later. This reality has long been one of the concerns with Covid: Even in people with mild infections who fully recover, could there be lasting impacts on the heart, lungs or other organs that cause problems later, particularly given what we’ve already been learning about “long Covid”?
As parents consider the risks and benefits of the Covid-19 vaccines for their kids, they may have heard about a heart inflammation condition called myocarditis or pericarditis occurring after some people get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Here’s what you need to know.
In January 2020, as the world was only just beginning to hear about a new coronavirus making its way through, and out of, China, I was flying home from Delhi, India. I had been there for just over a week with Rotary International to observe and report on India’s National Immunization Day, a big part of their global polio eradication campaign. I’ve reflected on what I learned while reporting during those couple of days again and again throughout the pandemic, but especially in the past several weeks as I’ve read about the heartbreaking devastation of Covid-19 in India.
When the FDA authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for adolescents aged 12–15, millions of parents across the country breathed a sigh of relief. At last, their teens could have the opportunity to live somewhat normal lives with the protection a vaccine offered them.
“For some teens, the vaccine may be their sort of beacon of hope that they can go back to doing the things they want to do without worry, without fear,” Robin Gurwitch, PhD, a psychologist and professor at Duke University Medical Center, told me. She said some teens may look forward to getting the vaccine so they…
Tara Haelle is a science journalist, public speaker, and author of Vaccination Investigation and The Informed Parent. Follow her at @tarahaelle.