CDC COVID-19 guidelines likely to change often as we learn more about vaccines, health experts say

Posted at 6:51 AM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 11:33:55-04

TAMPA, Fla. — As we move forward in the pandemic, public health experts say it’s going to be really important to pay attention to CDC guidelines because they’re going to change, and likely often.

“I think that’s important for people to understand too. People have watched science play out in front of them as we learned new information and have gotten new evidence,” said Dr. Jason Wilson, Associate Medical Director of the Emergency Room at Tampa General Hospital.

Doctors say it’s been a little confusing for people, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, because as researchers learned new information about the virus, the CDC changed its guidelines multiple times.

“What you’re going to see is that as more people get vaccinated and the vaccine proves to be more efficacious, meaning it works against variants, it actually prevents transmissions of COVID, it keeps people from getting sick in the hospital, you’ll start to see the guidelines about how we gather start to change as well,” said Wilson.

Experts stress people should pay close attention to the latest CDC guidelines because they’re going to mimic where we’re at with the data and what we know bout the vaccines at any given point, including how many people are vaccinated across the country.

“Now they’re going to lag behind where they want to be. That’s just natural in science because we don’t want to push too far ahead and get ahead of ourselves and have to pull it back and have people get sick or needlessly get hospitalized or die. We want to be very careful with that,” said Wilson.

The CDC’s most recent update to its guidelines was earlier this month, giving fully vaccinated people the OK to resume domestic travel without needing to get tested or self-quarantine after.

“Once it becomes clear that the vaccines prevent most transmission for COVID, well maybe then you start to enter some spaces of vaccinated people who are unmasked. We’ve seen that with the CDC already in homes and in small gatherings, we’re starting to see some allowances for those types of gatherings to happen,” said Wilson.

We expect to see more updates from the CDC in the coming weeks.