Masks in Spain and indoors seem to have their days numbered. The Spanish Government considers that the time has come to accelerate the end of indoor masks in the face of the drop in coronavirus infections. It will be progressive and agreed with the autonomous communities and epidemiological experts, but it will come “sooner” than later, as announced by the President of the Executive, Pedro Sánchez.
But according to a study published today in “The Lancet Public Health”, maybe it’s a good idea to keep using it for a while longer.
According to the report, maintaining the use of masks during a short period after reaching certain vaccination goals against Covid-19, it offers important economic and health benefits.
This is a simulation study of the spread of Covid-19 in the US.
and shows that maintaining the use of masks in closed public spaces for at least two weeks after achieve population vaccination targets (at least 70% coverage) is cost-effective and generally saves costs and reduces hospitalizations and deaths.
The emergence of more transmissible Covid-19 variants, decreased immunity, and increased social mixing add to the benefits of continued mask wearing over a short, defined period of time.
The study authors emphasize that the use of masks will continue to be an important part of non-pharmaceutical interventions, in addition to vaccines, to slow the spread of Covid-19 and suggest that providing subsidies for masks, along with subsidies for tests and treatments, they will be essential tools as the world enters the next phase of the pandemic.
According to the study, the lower the level of final vaccination coverage of the population, the greater the economic and health benefits of maintaining the use of masks.
While precise herd immunity thresholds for Covid-19 are unknown, the World Health Organization (WHO) has set a global vaccination coverage target of 70% by mid-2022.
The lead author, Bruce y. Lee, of the Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy at CUNY, USA, says: “Our findings highlight that vaccination alone is not enough to control the pandemic and that other protective measures are needed to control the pandemic.” limit the economy shocks and deaths”.
Previous studies have shown that masks reduce the spread of Covid-19 serious. However, the economic value of maintaining the use of masks, especially at different levels of vaccination coverage of the population, has not been clear.
The study authors developed a computational model representing the spread and impact of Covid-19 among the more than 327 million people in the US, and simulated the use of face masks before and after achieving different levels of vaccination coverage under a wide variety of circumstances.
The scenarios varied the population’s final levels of vaccination against Covid-19 and the date these targets were reached, as well as the levels of mask use and the date mask use ended.
In all simulated scenarios, it was cost-effective to maintain mask use betweene two and 10 weeks after reaching population vaccination targets. Maintaining mask use has always been cost-effective and typically cost-saving when the cost of mask use per person per day was less than $1.25.