What Does 'Return to Normal' Mean For The Immunocompromised? : 1A According to the most recent guidance from the CDC, most of the country no longer needs to mask up in public But those loosened restrictions don't apply to at least 7 million people nationwide who are immunocompromised. Their weakened immune systems put them at much higher risk for severe illness and death from exposure to COVID.

With elected officials advocating a so-called "return to normal," what does the present and future hold for the immunocompromised? What can we do to protect the most vulnerable?

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What Does 'Return to Normal' Mean For The Immunocompromised?

What Does 'Return to Normal' Mean For The Immunocompromised?

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Many Americans are foregoing masks in public places with COVID restrictions easing, but for the immunocompromised the risk of doing so is much higher. PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Many Americans are foregoing masks in public places with COVID restrictions easing, but for the immunocompromised the risk of doing so is much higher.

PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Most of the country no longer needs to mask up in public, according to the most recent guidance from the CDC. But those loosened restrictions don't apply to at least 7 million people nationwide who are immunocompromised. Their weakened immune systems put them at much higher risk for severe illness and death from exposure to COVID.

Science reporter Ed Yong wrote more in The Atlantic.

A significant proportion of them don't respond to COVID vaccines, so despite being vaccinated, many are still unsure whether they're actually protected—and some know that they aren't. Much of the United States dropped COVID restrictions long ago; many more cities and states are now following. That means policies that protected...immunocompromised people, including mask mandates and vaccination requirements, are disappearing, while accommodations that benefited them, such as flexible working options, are being rolled back.

With elected officials advocating a so-called "return to normal," we discuss what that means, present and future, for the immunocompromised. We also discuss what we can do to protect the most vulnerable.

Ed Yong, Marney White, Matthew Cortland, and Dr. Jeannina Smith join us for the conversation.

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