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Members of the National Nurses United union on Wednesday place 400 pairs of shoes on Black Lives Matter Plaza, Washington, D.C., to honor the more than 400 registered nurses who have died from COVID-19 . Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The largest nurses union in the U.S. called on the CDC Saturday to reverse guidance issued this week that allows for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to go maskless while participating in indoor and outdoor activities.

Details: National Nurses United executive director Bonnie Castillo said in a statement the new guidance is "not based on science, does not protect public health, and threatens the lives of patients, nurses, and other frontline workers across the country."

"Now is not the time to relax protective measures, and we are outraged that the CDC has done just that while we are still in the midst of the deadliest pandemic in a century."
— Castillo

The other side: CDC director Rochelle Walensky noted when the guidelines were issued Thursday that few people vaccinated against the coronavirus had become infected with it, that "transmission seems rarer still" and the vaccines seem to protect against known variants in the U.S., per the New York Times.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Go deeper

Aug 23, 2021 - Health

New Jersey implements vaccine mandate for school and state workers

People come to be tested for COVID-19 at a test site in Paramus, New Jersey. Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced in a series of tweets Monday that all state workers and preschool through high school teachers will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 18 or submit to weekly testing.

Why it matters: New Jersey joins a growing contingent of states instituting similar requirements for state employees and school teachers and staff.

Updated Aug 23, 2021 - Health

FDA grants full approval to Pfizer's COVID vaccine

Photo: Marcos del Mazo/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for those aged 16 and older.

Why it matters: It's the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive full authorization from the federal government. Experts hope the approval will encourage more unvaccinated people in the U.S. to get the shot, especially as the country experiences a surge in COVID cases largely driven by the Delta variant.

Aug 23, 2021 - Health

New York City mandates COVID vaccinations for public school staff

A classroom in New York City in July. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

All New York City Department of Education employees, including teachers and school staff, must receive at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine by Sept. 27, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

Why it matters: The mandate affects about 148,000 people — including teachers, custodians and office staff — working in the largest U.S. school district. School is set to start Sept. 13.