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Face masks ‘more guaranteed’ to work against coronavirus than vaccine, CDC director warns

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Face masks ‘more guaranteed’ to work against COVID-19 than a vaccine, CDC director says' Coronavirus: Face masks ‘more guaranteed’ to work against COVID-19 than a vaccine, CDC director says
WATCH: Testifying before a U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Wednesday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield told lawmakers that face masks are "the most important, powerful public health tool we have,” amid the COVID-19 pandemic, adding, “I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine."

Wearing a face mask may do more to protect against the spread of coronavirus than getting a vaccine, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Wednesday.

Speaking at a United Stated House subcommittee on the country’s response efforts to COVID-19, Dr. Robert Redfield stressed the importance of wearing a mask.

Read more: U.S. releases plan to provide free coronavirus vaccine

“I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine,” he said.

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This is because the vaccine might not work for everyone, Redfield said, noting 70 per cent efficacy as an example.

“And if I don’t get an immune response the vaccine is not going to protect me. This face mask will,” he said.

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Click to play video 'Canada still determining percentage of COVID-19 vaccinations needed to be effective on wider scale: Tam' Canada still determining percentage of COVID-19 vaccinations needed to be effective on wider scale: Tam
Canada still determining percentage of COVID-19 vaccinations needed to be effective on wider scale: Tam

In a July study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, health officials found that in order for a COVID-19 vaccine to be effective and end the pandemic, it would need an efficacy level of more than 70 per cent. By comparison, the measles vaccine has an efficacy rate of 95 to 98 per cent and the flu vaccine is 20 to 60 per cent, the study said.