Illinois Health Dept director says ‘masks are as effective as vaccines’

on Sep1
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The Illinois Department of Health director recently said that “masks are as effective as vaccines” amid a push to crack down on mask wearing in schools. 

“If we actually want our kids to be in school for in-person learning, masking is a great protection and our best bet,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike said last Thursday, according to Chalkbeat. “The bottom line is that masks are as effective as vaccines are.”

Ezike is now facing criticism for the comment, with one Twitter user saying, “If the goal is to increase vax uptake — and we know both Illinois & Chicago, uptake is lowest among Black & Latinx residents — Dr Ezike’s statement is at-odds with equity goals.”

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Ezike’s message comes as local and federal leaders tout the effectiveness of the vaccine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urge people to “get vaccinated as soon as you can” in order to protect against the virus. 

President Biden also said last month that vaccines are a matter of “life and death.” While CDC director Rochelle Walensky added that: “Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others around you, especially as the more contagious delta variant spreads around the country.” 

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Vaccines, overall, also have a long history of stamping out diseases, and potential death, for illnesses such as polio, tetanus, measles, mumps and others. 

Masks, meanwhile, are advised by the CDC to be worn indoors in high transmission areas, regardless of vaccination status, in order “to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others.”

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The Illinois Department of Health did not immediately return Fox News’s request for comment on Ezike’s statement.



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