CDC Director Does An About-Face, Says Vaccinated People Don’t Spread The Virus

The CDC Director says leisure travel is driving the pandemic. The CDC has recommended that vaccinated people shouldn’t travel.

She’s said this even though CDC research has found that vaccinated people neither contract nor spread the virus. Specifically CDC research suggests that the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are 90% effective at preventing asymptomatic spread.

Now CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is beginning to echo her agency’s research findings. She says,

[O]ur data from the CDC today suggests, you know, that vaccinated people do not carry the virus, don`t get sick, and that it`s not just in the clinical trials but it`s also in real world data.

There’s very little to worry, then, about vaccinated people getting sick or getting others sick. There’s very little to worry, then, about vaccinated people traveling.

Vaccinated people shouldn’t even need to wear masks, except that it’s difficult to tell who is vaccinated and who isn’t, and it’ll be difficult to manage compliance by the unvaccinated up in the air. That’s why the timetable for lifting air travel mask mandates should be when there’s enough vaccine available that everyone who wants a jab can get one.

Of course if it turns out that variants are escaping the vaccines, and that this happens prior to the availability of boosters (there’s no justifiable reason for variant boosters to be delayed), guidance might need to change.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Would like to know when we /USA reach the point when there is enough vaccine for everyone. Wasn’t it said to be by end of June?

  2. So the “impending doom” statement was (of course) hysterical bunk. Time to give the cruise industry a path forward too.

  3. Let’s get those vaccination passports done so that we don’t have to worry about travelling with those radical anti-vaxers. They can stay home until they become enlightened.

  4. “Impending doom” meaning the CDC will go back to being irrelevant like most other government agencies.

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  6. Vaccinated and still going to wear a mask. The pandemic ain’t over. It’s rebounding if you truly examined the data. You might not be though…

  7. “Impending doom” refers the people who have not had the vaccine and want to live like the pandemic is over.

  8. I won’t bother to comment about the CDC and their statements nor the NY Times article, other than driven by Big Pharma. Lets present the following….

    You had measles. Natural lifelong immunity. Do you go out and get the measles vaccine? No.

    You had Covid. Natural immunity. Do you go out and get the Covid injection. No. Are people getting Covid after getting their full injections. Yes.

    Are there so called “mutations” out now to further scare you? Absolutely. By design. There are 82 human trials and 77 animal trials of new Covid vaccines in the pipeline. Prepare your arms. This isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning!

    Now you “may” need a “Vaccine Passport”…. we will see about that. There will be so many lawsuits as this injection is declared “experimental”….only way FDA approved it. You can’t force a vaccine as experimental on the population, at least not in this country, and then deny their ability to travel based on that.

    The courts are going to be on fire…..

  9. “Vaccinated people shouldn’t even need to wear masks, except that it’s difficult to tell who is vaccinated and who isn’t, and it’ll be difficult to manage compliance by the unvaccinated up in the air. That’s why the timetable for lifting air travel mask mandates should be when there’s enough vaccine available that everyone who wants a jab can get one.”

    – Again this statement that you keep repeating over and over makes zero sense. What difference does it make how many vaccines are available when it comes to masks? If anti-vaxxers refuse to take the vaccine they are not vaccinated and can easily spread the virus. 70% of the new covid cases in NYC are variants. More contagious and more deadly than the original strains of covid. Take a look at how Michigan is doing if you think this is close to over. On top of that 1 out of 10 people who are vaccinated can still get infected and infect other people. Therefore the only way to get rid of masks is to vaccinate an extremely large percentage of the population, so that even if a vaccinated person does become infected they are surrounded by people who are vaccinated and less likely to become infected.

    Basing mask mandates on whether or not somebody could have opted for a vaccine is garbage, because those people could infect 10% of the people who got vaccinated not to mention all the other people who did not take the vaccine. Maybe their bodies help develop a new variant of covid that circumvents the vaccine all together and puts us right back to where we started. You want to get rid of masks? Mandate that you have to be vaccinated to fly. Otherwise just stop because the pandemic will continue to rage until enough people get vaccinated. France just went into their third lockdown.

  10. This is likely not completely true.

    Virus gets up people’s noses, including the vaccinated. There, the vaccinated person’s immune system tries to kill it off but, in the interim, some virus can be spread. Probably not much not I don’t agree that there is none.

    Then there are those that don’t have a sufficient immune response to the vaccine. They can spread it like an unvaccinated person. Possibly 5-7% of Pfizer recipients and possibly 10-20% of Johnson and Johnson recipients.

    Vaccines are great but not perfect.

  11. The CDC changes their story. Stop the presses. lol. They’ve long since proved themselves to be as misleading and outright deceptive as their lefty pol masters.

  12. I have travel hacker friends that have tested positive Tuesday and Wednesday this week. She had her 2nd vaccination last Friday. Her husband has not been vaccinated. If one shot should give you 80% coverage, her positive result is something to be noted. She has all the usual symptoms.

  13. I have been flying since May of last year (meaning after taking April off when the virus lockdowns and all hit). Last flight before today was Feb. 1. Today was the first day I missed an upgrade in all that time. I was happy about it–even happy about being crammed on an entirely full Oasis 737 (thankfully I have elite status, so I was in a bulkhead extra legroom). I fly this route often and it’s been a CRJ-7 for the past year on all my flights; there have been a few 737s, but not the majority and not until recently. Today I believe they all were, just as they were pre-pandemic. I know one of the gate agents where I arrived. She is going on vacation Saturday and said she was planning to fly but “all the flights are full” so now she’s going to just drive. She works at a medium sized Midwest airport and her family is in another smaller sized Midwestern airport (no Chicago or Minneapolis here). I fly to ORD tomorrow and already know I won’t get that upgrade because F has been sold out for days. The MC has half the seats available (probably many are BE, though).

    Also, I am vaccinated, and the man on the aisle was. So was the young woman behind me (she heard us talking). The nurse in the middle seat has a serious health problem and her doctor has advised her to wait until there is some more research on her condition. We were HER herd immunity on a tiny scale. She works in a health care facility, and they are required to be tested weekly. She had just been tested again. No one knows who is on a plane, but according to my gate agent buddy, the planes started really getting booked up again in March, so do the vaccination math. People maybe DON’T feel the pandemic is OVER, but have been vaccinated and have decided to live.

    This is time we will never get back again.

  14. “Vaccinated people shouldn’t even need to wear masks, except that it’s difficult to tell who is vaccinated and who isn’t, and it’ll be difficult to manage compliance by the unvaccinated up in the air. That’s why the timetable for lifting air travel mask mandates should be when there’s enough vaccine available that everyone who wants a jab can get one.”

    Stop trying to have it both ways. We should all pull it together for a few frickin’ months and we’ll hopefully get to the other side of this disaster sooner than later. Eeesh.

  15. Sorry I’ve lost all respect for the CDC director between sounding like a broken record on things that we all know are not true (Vaccinated people cant travel yet theres no outcry from them when their own folks are traveling) and then the impending doom statement was so unprofessional. She’s suppose to be the head of the CDC and she’s essentially having an on air meltdown instead of doing her job. Maybe if dare I say they need to take a little of the directness of the Trump admin and start calling states and their leaders out and showing the proof (you removed this measure and now look you have +X% more cases) instead of just repeating the same thing over and over and essentially no one listening.

  16. I’ve had one of the shots, go back to get 2nd soon. I’ve flown once this year but it was 4 flights total, here and back. I wear my mask and will continue to wear it until more people are vaccinated. I have a headache and stomach ache, but it could be much worse. The CDC and other countries are doing their best with this. I’m being positive because being pissed got me nowhere. I made it a year without a vaccine. Now that I have one, I feel safer. It may only be 80% coverage, but that’s better than zero. As for masks, they need to give us something once we complete the 2nd vaccine shot that says we can go without a mask. I have a 9 hour trip in August and no one wants to wear a mask in August. If a “Vaccine Passport” will work in other countries, let’s start now. Meanwhile, I’m wearing my mask.

  17. Anyone listening to the CDC or Fauci on this stuff still – is a total moron.

    You guys are being sold down the river. Have been for a year.

    Get your brains in gear, and get in the game.
    Life is a lot more complicated than blindly listening to government agencies and media stars tell you what to do.

    Grow a brain people. The sky is not falling. Wake up.
    You’ve been had.

  18. Gary,
    You’re wrong to claim there was an “about-face.” The CDC suggested wearing masks because we didn’t know whether vaccinated people could catch and spread the virus. CDC was waiting for the data. Now they have it.

  19. @wfb, Gary was correct in saying the CDC made an about face. Earlier this week the CDC director stated people who were traveling and had been vaccinated should not travel because they were spreading the virus. Why was that said if the “CDC was waiting for the data”?

  20. I can’t help wondering what is wrong with first the anti- maskers, and now the anti- vaxxers. Nobody trusts the government completely, but the conspiracy theorists are so busy spreading their own nonsense non-stop. They’re the very people who keep the virus going. Because of the stupidity and selfishness, we’ve experienced super spreader outbreaks. If they’re refused entry to any business, they bully and sometimes assault workers. It’s all about the anti-maskers rights. What about other people’s right to not be infected by their ridiculous behavior. Does a private business not have the right to protect themselves from those people. How do the conspiracy minded explain the massive amount of deaths worldwide? Do they honestly think all world leaders agreed to mass extermination ? I’m sickened by people claiming it’s their right to not wear a mask. Government documents do not give them the right to infringe on others, but it is written that a national emergency can force compliance. The same goes for the people refusing vaccinations. Measles, a disease that was all but eradicated, has broken out in some communities because of anti-vaxxers. The ignorance, arrogance and hate mongering perpetuated by so many people is why containment has been near impossible. The CDC has made mistakes, but overall they’re trying, while under enormous pressure. WHO, and their kowtowing to China bears our animosity because they allowed China to downplay it from the start. I’m hoping enough intelligent people will be vaccinated asap. Btw, I lost my husband, a man who fought for this country’s freedoms, due to COVID 19 last June. Where was his freedom from the anti-msskers insanity.?

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