coronavirus

Delta Variant: Third Covid Shot May Be Way Around Masking, Says Dr. Peter Hotez

Emily Elconin | Reuters
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance recommending indoor mask use in areas with high transmission rate on Tuesday.
  • “There is potentially a way to get around it, and it may be that third immunization,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Peter Hotez told CNBC that while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new Covid masking guidelines are "absolutely" necessary to battle the delta variant and surging cases, there might be an alternative to wearing masks indoors again. 

"There is potentially a way to get around it, and it may be that third immunization," said Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's Hospital.

The vaccines are currently proving to hold up against symptomatic illness and against serious illness, ICU admissions and hospitalizations. Hotez, however, noted that the vaccines "are not holding up as well" when it comes to stopping asymptomatic transmission, because the delta variant is so highly contagious. 

New data shows that people infected with the delta strain can carry up to 1,000 times more virus in their nasal passages than those infected with the original strain.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday recent studies show that those vaccinated individuals who do become infected with Covid have just as much viral load as the unvaccinated, making it possible for them to spread the virus to others.

Hotez explained to "The News with Shepard Smith" that the booster shot could increase the virus- neutralizing antibodies in people who have been vaccinated, and that is important because it could help stop asymptomatic transmission. 

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