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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The CDC announced Thursday that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors.

Why it matters: The U.S. is entering a new stage in the pandemic where the public — vaccinated or not — will need to assess its own risk tolerance in shared spaces.

The big picture: Despite emerging evidence that vaccinated people are less likely to transmit the virus, the mass inability to validate vaccinations may be enough for some to keep their masks on in crowded or indoor spaces for a while longer.

What's happening: Most states have already lifted mandates or are planning to. Grocery stores or restaurants, at least in some regions, will likely still require some mask use until more people are vaccinated.

Yes, but: Less mask-wearing by vaccinated government officials and vaccinated people overall could reinforce the message to the hesitant that vaccines will speed the return to normalcy Jennifer Nuzzo, senior scholar at Johns Hopkins, tells Axios.

  • "People's perception that vaccines change nothing is a hindrance to their willingness to get vaccinated," she said.

The other side: "It's clear that outdoor activity is safe without masks and distancing, but indoor venues still pose risks," Lawrence Gostin, faculty director of the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and Georgetown University Law Center, said in a statement.

  • "The difference between a supermarket, a restaurant or a gym (where masks aren't required) and an airport (where they are) doesn't make sense and isn't supported by science."

Go deeper: America is finally winning its fight against the coronavirus

Go deeper

Updated Aug 23, 2021 - Health

Jesse and Jacqueline Jackson "responding positively" to COVID treatment

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and Jacqueline Jackson at a 2018 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation event in Washington, D.C. Photo: Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and his wife, Jacqueline Jackson, were "responding positively" to treatment Sunday — one day after being hospitalized with COVID-19, their son said.

Details: Physicians at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago were "carefully monitoring" the 79-year-old civil rights leader and Jacqueline Jackson "especially because of their ages," said Jonathan Jackson in a statement Sunday.

Aug 21, 2021 - World

India approves world's first DNA-based COVID-19 vaccine

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

India's drug regulator on Friday granted emergency approval to the world's first DNA-based coronavirus vaccine.

Driving the news: The three-dose, needle-free vaccine was developed by pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila. The company added that it is also the first vaccine to be approved in the country for teens between the ages of 12 and 18.

Aug 21, 2021 - Health

FDA urges people to stop taking ivermectin to treat COVID-19

Photo: Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday urged people to stop taking ivermectin — a drug used to treat parasites in animals — to respond to or prevent the coronavirus.

Driving the news: The Mississippi State Health Department on Friday sent a letter warning health workers of the increase in poisonings from people taking ivermectin.