Agency fast-tracks return to normal with surprise announcement.
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Time for the private sector to rev its engines and manufacture some innovative ways for businesses to vet who’s been vaccinated and who hasn’t. That’s after Centers for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky and President Biden’s senior pandemic advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, announced today that fully vaccinated Americans — i.e. those two weeks out from their second Pfizer or Moderna dose or their single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot — can safely move about maskless in most indoor and outdoor locations.
Exceptions to the guidance include medical settings and transportation hubs, and even those who are fully immunized are cautioned to mask up and get tested if they start feeling Covid-like symptoms. It’s also noteworthy that the guidance is subject to, in the CDC’s wording, “federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
Walensky and Fauci added that the decision was made as case rates have dropped, existing vaccines have proved sturdy against emerging variants and eligibility has expanded to all Americans 12 and older for the Pfizer vaccine and 16 and up for all three vaccines approved for emergency use by the FDA.
As for how individuals and business owners will know whether a maskless passerby or patron is truly vaccinated or merely a vaccine impostor, that brings us full circle back to app developers and other entrepreneurs who can help fill the void. Not to mention state and local municipal leaders, who will need to invest time, money and resources into tamping down vaccine reluctance so public life doesn’t devolve into a scrum of who can best authenticate their vaccine status.