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CDC Says Fully Vaccinated People Can Unmask; That's 1 In 3 Arizonans

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  said Thursday COVID-19 vaccines are effective enough that fully vaccinated Americans don’t need face masks anymore in most settings. 

About a third of Arizona’s population  is now fully vaccinated. That’s lower than the national average and demand for shots in our state has slowed in recent weeks. Arizona Department of Health Services director, Dr. Cara Christ said loosened guidelines for vaccinated adults should be seen as more incentives for unvaccinated Arizonans to roll up their sleeves.

"Today brings more encouraging news for those fully vaccinated against COVID-19,"  Christ wrote in a blog post Thursday. "This is a very big step toward returning to our pre-pandemic way of life. And it’s available to everyone who gets one of the safe, effective, free, and widely available vaccines offered at state-run sites, pharmacies, and numerous other locations around the state."

Arizona never had a statewide mask requirement, but many tribes, businesses and transportation systems are still asking Arizonans to cover their noses and mouths. The CDC says those requirements should still be followed.

→  Q&AZ: What You Need To Know About Getting The Coronavirus Vaccine In Arizona

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent reporting on a variety of issues, including public health and climate change.