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CDC director says masks are more effective than a COVID vaccine


BERKELEY, Calif. (KRON) – “This face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine,” said Dr. Robert Redfield CDC director.

Redfield says a COVID-19 vaccine would not be available for another 9 to 12 months.

UCSF infectious disease doctor Monica Gandhi agrees.

“Number one – it’s going to take a while to get a vaccine and number two we don’t know the efficacy of the vaccine is but we know these (masks) protect you,” said Dr. Monica Gandhi.

Gandhi studied mask-wearing early on, looking at data from Japan’s diamond princess cruise ship where more than 700 people on board came down with COVID-19 before mask-wearing was suggested.

“So we’re actually postulating that masks help multiple components of the response. One is transmission and by reducing the amount of virus that gets in it may reduce the severity of the disease,” said Gandhi.

Tuesday night, the city of Berkeley approved an ordinance to fine people not wearing a mask in public.

The decision was made after seeing an increase of COVID-19 cases in July and August.

“The focus is not criminalizing people, it’s on making sure people do the right thing” said city council member Kate Harrison.

“This has obviously been shown to be one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the disease and it’s a very cheap and easy way to save a life,” Harrison added.

Harrison also says city workers will be keeping an eye on large gatherings of 12 or more at parks, parties, and student events.

“We had Cal students come back three weeks ago, at present we have about 190 students who have been found positive and I don’t want them to spread it to their fellow students, their parents and grandparents, their neighbors and certainly not the rest of our community,” Harrison stressed.

Other Bay Area counties like Santa Clara, Napa and Marin have already approved similar measures.

The money gathered from fines will be used to buy masks for low income people.

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