Jan. 12, 2022 — The CDC is preparing to update its COVID-19 mask recommendations to emphasize the use of N95 and KN95 masks that better filter the virus, Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, said Wednesday.
“We are preparing an update to the info on our mask website to best reflect the options that are available to people and the different levels of protection different masks provide, and we want to provide Americans the best and most updated information to choose what mask is going to be right for them,” she said at a White House news briefing.
While the higher-quality masks provide better protection, they can be uncomfortable to wear, expensive, and harder to find. That’s why Walensky added an important caveat.
“Any mask is better than no mask, and we do encourage all Americans to wear a well-fitting mask to protect themselves and prevent the spread of COVID-19. That recommendation is not going to change,” she said.
“Most importantly, the best mask that you wear is the one you will wear and the one you can keep on all day long and tolerate in public indoor settings.”
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization was more focused on vaccines.
WHO officials stressed Wednesday that global vaccine distribution is first priority in defeating the highly contagious Omicron variant, as well as other variants that may evolve.
The WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition — a group of experts assessing how COVID-19 vaccines perform against Omicron and other emerging variants — says there is an “urgent need” for broader access to vaccines, along with reviewing and updating current vaccines as needed to ensure protection.
The WHO also disputed the idea that COVID-19 could become endemic in one largely vaccinated nation, while the rest of the world remains unprotected.
“It is up to us how this pandemic unfolds,” Maria Van