Arizona health experts mixed on CDC guidelines for vaccinated

Mar 10, 2021, 4:55 AM | Updated: 2:01 pm

PHOENIX — Arizona health experts have mixed reactions to new guidelines issued Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

While fully vaccinated people may visit other fully vaccinated individuals without a need for masks or to stay 6-feet apart under the updated recommendations, traveling is still discouraged.

That is where Arizona health experts differ.

Will Humble, executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday that while he agrees with the overall guidance provided, the travel recommendation is “overly restrictive.”

Humble believes travel is essential, especially now when some older Americans haven’t seen their loved ones in almost a year.

“If they’ve got two vaccines on board, I don’t see any reason why they can’t get on a jet and go to another state to see their family,” Humble said.

Humble explained people who have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and waited two weeks for the vaccine to kick in have a high titer of antibodies, meaning more protection.

“If there’s nobody high risk in the household you’re traveling to and you’re fully vaccinated, I say go for it,” Humble recommended.

However, University of Arizona professor and former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona agrees with the CDC’s recommendation to avoid travel, even when fully vaccinated.

“Your risk is lower but still you want to be careful,” Carmona said.

Carmona believes travel should only be done when it is for essential reasons.

Yet both experts agree protocols should continue to be followed when traveling, including wearing a mask, washing hands frequently and social distancing from others.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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Arizona health experts mixed on CDC guidelines for vaccinated