• The CDC said fully vaccinated people in the U.S. no longer need to wear face masks
  • Questions regarding the reimplementation of mask-wearing came after news that the delta strain is highly transmissible
  • Vaccines are reportedly effective in fighting COVID-19 strains, including the delta variant

The growing concern over the highly transmissible delta variant of COVID-19 has led to questions on whether strict mask-wearing should be implemented even among fully vaccinated people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, it is no longer necessary.

During an interview on NBC's "Today" Wednesday, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said fully vaccinated people are "safe" from the delta variant as well as all other strains of the coronavirus.

The announcement came after the World Health Organization (WHO) appealed people to continue wearing masks to lower the risk of transmission of the delta COVID-19 variant, regardless of whether they have been inoculated or not, The Hill reported.

“People cannot feel safe just because they had the two doses. They still need to protect themselves,” said Dr. Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant director-general for access to medicines and health products.

However, Walensky reiterated the CDC's guidelines and assured that fully inoculated people no longer need to wear masks as the existing vaccines have been proven effective in fighting COVID-19 strains, according to CNBC.

"If you are vaccinated, you are safe from the variants that are circulating here in the United States," Walensky said, adding it was "exactly right" that the CDC's bottom line was that vaccinated people can forgo mask-wearing.

Commenting on WHO's announcement, Walensky noted that the latter is dealing with a worldwide situation that includes nations with far fewer vaccinated people than the U.S. — a circumstance which requires WHO to be more cautious when advising the rest of the world's population.

"We know that the WHO has to make guidelines and provide information to the world," she said.

"Right now, we know as we look across the globe that less than 15% of people around the world have been vaccinated and many people of those have really only received one dose of a two-dose vaccine. There are places around the world that are surging," the CDC director continued.

Local health officials in Los Angeles County also echoed the WHO's announcement on wearing face masks. According to Walensky, the CDC is leaving it up to states and local health officials to set mask-wearing protocols in their area.

"We would suggest that you look to your local policies because we would like our policymakers, even if you're one of the one-third of people vaccinated in their area, to adhere to the policies that are made to protect the unvaccinated," Walensky said.

Wearing facemasks outside is no longer mandatory in Spain
Wearing facemasks outside is no longer mandatory in Spain AFPTV / Rebeca MAYORGA