Dr. Leana Wen suggested during a Thursday interview that Americans who are hesitant to get the coronavirus vaccine can regain their freedom after being vaccinated.
“If we can tell those individuals who otherwise would not get vaccinated, if we say to them, the moment of freedom for you is when you get vaccinated, when you reach the two-week mark, these are people who otherwise might not be vaccinated, so let’s give them that incentive,” Wen said on “CNN Newsroom.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidelines Tuesday recommending that people who have been completely vaccinated don’t have to wear a mask while outside, unless they’re “in certain crowded settings and venues.”
Individuals are qualified as “fully vaccinated” two weeks after they receive a second vaccine dose, according to the CDC. Just over 98 million Americans have been fully vaccinated while over 142 million people have received at least one dose, according to CDC data. (RELATED: Journalists, Political Commentators Mock CDC’s New Guidance Of Mask Wearing For Vaccinated Americans)
But recent CDC data shows that the number of fully vaccinated Americans has outpaced those with at least one dose, raising concerns that the U.S. will be unable to reach herd immunity in the near future, CNN reported.
“I think this is really just hitting the hesitancy wall,” Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington told CNN.
Wen said a unifying message is effective in getting Americans vaccinated, but pointed out that a large number of people are thinking selfishly and refuse to wait for herd immunity. Wen said she believes people have to be informed they can return to many “elements of pre-pandemic life” and said it’s alright for people to remain cautious.
“We want people to proceed at their own pace,” Wen said. “What I’m saying is that there are a lot of people who otherwise are not going to get vaccinated, so let’s give them that additional incentive.”
“I think that particularly applies to young people who are going to go to bars, who are going to be socializing anyway, let’s say to them, get vaccinated, and then do those things,” Wen said.
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