CDC considers advice as delta variant emerges

July 30, 2021
Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labour, and Pensions Committee hearing, Tuesday, July 20, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

NEW YORK — New evidence showing the delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox has prompted United States health officials to consider changing advice on how the nation fights the coronavirus.

Recommending masks for everyone and requiring vaccines for doctors and other health care providers are among measures the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering.

That's according to internal documents obtained by the Washington Post.

The presentation for CDC staff tells them to “acknowledge the war has changed.”

It also notes that infections in vaccinated people may be as transmissible as in the unvaccinated.

The internal documents also cite studies from Canada, Singapore and Scotland showing the delta variant may pose a greater risk for hospitalisation, intensive care treatment and death than the alpha variant, first detected in Britain.

The CDC emphasised the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing infections, severe disease and death.

It says “breakthrough” infections after vaccination are uncommon.

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