March 9 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Kara Fox, and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 3:03 AM ET, Wed March 10, 2021
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5:29 a.m. ET, March 9, 2021

"There are no shortcuts," WHO director-general says ahead of pandemic's first anniversary

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press conference on July 3, 2020, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press conference on July 3, 2020, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned about squandering the progress that has been made around the world Monday, ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thursday will mark 12 months since the UN health agency declared the crisis a pandemic.

“Right now, WHO’s focus is on supporting all countries to end the pandemic, including with vaccines and the public health measures that have been the bedrock of the response for 15 months,” Tedros said during a news briefing in Geneva.

“We have come so far, we have suffered so much, and we have lost so many. We cannot -- we must not -- squander the progress we have made.” 

Tedros said the tools to control the pandemic exist, but they must be used consistently and equitably. “Science, solutions and solidarity remain our guide. There are no shortcuts,” he added.

2:24 a.m. ET, March 9, 2021

CDC releases highly anticipated guidance for people fully vaccinated against Covid-19

From CNN's Jen Christensen

New guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can safely visit with other vaccinated people and small groups of unvaccinated people in some circumstances, but there are still important safety precautions needed.

"Covid-19 continues to exert a tremendous toll on our nation. Like you, I want to be able to return to everyday activities and engage with our friends, families, and communities," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at the White House briefing Monday. "Science, and the protection of public health must guide us as we begin to resume these activities. Today's action represents an important first step. It is not our final destination.
"As more people get vaccinated, levels of Covid-19 infection decline in communities, and as our understanding of Covid immunity improves, we look forward to updating these recommendations to the public."

The CDC defines people who are fully vaccinated as those who are two weeks past their second dose of the Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines or two weeks past a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. There is growing evidence that people who are vaccinated don't spread Covid-19, but scientists are still trying to understand how long vaccine protection lasts.

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