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Hasty about-face distorts Delta force

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The CDC now urges public indoor masking after a worrisome study on the Delta variant — undermining the vaccine effort.

We finally know what drove the CDC to revise its guidance days ago without explanation to recommend that fully vaccinated individuals wear masks in public indoor settings in areas of the country with high or substantial COVID-19 transmission. The Washington Post released a July 29 CDC slide presentation, and the CDC confirmed that one of the unpublished studies cited was pivotal in its decision.

The slides largely just confirm what was already known: The Delta variant is more contagious than earlier variants.

Two of the slides suggest people with breakthrough Delta infections can spread the virus to others, leading to the claim vaccinated people must wear masks. In fact, a nonpeer-reviewed, preprint study claimed that breakthrough Delta infections are more transmissible than breakthrough infections from other variants. It examined breakthrough infections in 100 Indian health-care workers and found higher viral loads in Delta infections compared with non-Delta infections, leading to increased transmission. But — some say crucially — this small study used an Indian version of the AstraZeneca vaccine which is not used in the US. It may have limited relevance to the mRNA vaccines used here.

The slides also reported unpublished data, now updated by the CDC, that convinced the agency to take action: 74 percent of the 469 cases in an outbreak in Barnstable County, Mass., following the July 4........

© New York Post

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