CDC Creates Confusion Over Holiday Gatherings

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The CDC has made a reversal on its COVID guidance, posted on Friday.

It recommended virtual or outdoor gatherings for the holidays, but now that guidance has been removed from the website altogether.

Adding to the confusion, chief medical adviser to the president Dr. Anthony Fauci, clarified an earlier statement after he said it was too soon to gather. He said he was misinterpreted, and that he'll be spending Christmas with his family.

He said he "encourages" vaccinated people to have a good "normal" Christmas with their families.

The CDC is promising new recommendations soon.

Dr. Shira Doron of Tufts Medical Center and Dr. Davidson Hamer of Boston Medical Center answered questions about long COVID symptoms, holiday guidelines and new data that shows the Pfizer vaccine's efficacy wanes over time.

Dr. Shira Doron of Tufts Medical Center called the guideline change "surprising. Let's just put it that way."

She said the public has to put the risk in context, and that the most important key to gathering for the holidays is vaccinations.

"I think, by the holidays people would have had an opportunity to get a booster if they're eligible for one," she said. "Yes, we've had people hospitalized with COVID breakthrough cases. Most of those people are people who are now eligible for boosters, so if you are eligible for a booster, I recommend you get one."

COVID cases are declining across the country, now more than 20% in the past two weeks.

While we haven't even hit Halloween yet, many people say they already know what their holiday season will look like.

"No, I'm not going to my family's house. I'm being very careful, because I'm over 60 and we don't know where everyone's been at," said Rita Lungelow of Quincy.

"I'm going to gather with my family. Had my shots, get my booster, and that's what we should all be doing and not worrying too much about it," said another Massachusetts resident.

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