City Express News
Indian doctors have said the US CDC’s guideline allowing fully vaccinated people to drop the mask is not scientifically supported.
NewDelhi,May, 19,2021: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) of the USA shocked the world last week when it announced that “fully vaccinated persons” could go without masks in public. It has led to heated debate in America, while the rest of the world is also looking at the protocol for relaxing mask norms.
However, according to the CDC website, only 47.4 per cent of its population over 18 years has been “fully vaccinated” as of May 17.
In India, experts and doctors say that the US CDC policy is “not scientifically supported”.
“Herd immunity is said to be achieved when at least 70 per cent of the population develops antibodies,” said Dr. JA Jayalal, President of the Indian Medical Association.
Speaking to India Today, Dr. Jayalal said it is “not possible” to relax norms in India just yet. He also said there is “no scientific evidence so far that the US has developed herd immunity.”
“The virus strain we are seeing in India is more virulent. The existing vaccines, which had about 70-80 per cent efficacy against the earlier mutations, are only about 40-50 per cent effective against this strain,” said Dr. Jayalal. He also said having received both vaccine doses may not be enough to guard against the new mutations.
Referring to the recent death of former IMA president, Dr. KK Aggarwal, Jayalal said factors such as comorbidities and exposure to the new mutations could still create “serious complications”.
“We just lost Dr. Aggarwal who had been fully vaccinated, but developed Complications,” he points out, adding that even fully vaccinated persons “could still be carriers who could spread the virus to other’s, which is something that the US guidelines seem to ignore,” says Jayalal.
Dr. Chand Wattal, head of immunology at the Gangaram Hospital, Delhi, also said the situation in the USA and India “cannot be compared”.
“There is a difference in the population and the extent of vaccination. You cannot compare,” said Dr. Wattal.
“Whatever they may be doing, we still have numerous cases. We cannot relax the mandates. In India, people must continue to wear double masks, maintain social distancing,” he said.
Dr. Wattal also said the recent spread of the new mutations of the virus in more sections of the population can be blamed on the relaxation of norms earlier this year.
“We relaxed January onwards when we thought it was over, and now see what is happened,” says Wattal.”
The Health ministry as well as experts on the Government advisory panel have also made statements cautioning against the relaxation of the protocol.
Dr. Randeep Guleria of AIIMS, who is also part of the Government advisory panel on Covid, also gave a media statement advocating caution. Guleria in his statement also pointed out that the virus was rapidly mutating and there was not enough data on whether the vaccines can protect against the new strains.