COVID-19: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Stop Wearing Your Face Mask After Vaccination – Many are wondering when life will return to normal, as more people become fully vaccinated. But before you throw away your face mask, experts warn that we’ll need to continue wearing them a while longer, especially in public settings.
According to an infectious disease specialist, Kristin Englund, MD, face masks and social or physical distancing will need to continue into the foreseeable future. According to her, getting vaccinated does not instantly mean we can go back to how life was before. Until we have some level of herd immunity, the vaccine is now just another layer of protection against COVID-19.
Here’s 5 Reasons To Continue Wearing A Mask, Even After You’re Vaccinated
- It takes time for the vaccine to kick in: You wont reach the nearly 95% effectiveness rate until two weeks after your second-dose of the Pfizer or Modema vaccine. After the first dose, you do get a partial immune response, which is great news, but it doesn’t mean you’re immediately protected the minute the needle goes in your arm.
- The vaccines do not provide 100% protection: Although the vaccines are amazingly effective, they only offer 94% to 95% protection. There’s no way to tell who the 5% will be at risk for COVID-19. In contrast, the measles vaccine is 97% effective after two doses. The vaccination program began in the U.S in 1963, but the disease wasn’t considered eliminated until 2000.
- Those who have been vaccinated might be asymptomatic spreaders: The vaccines prevent illness, but more research is needed to determine whether the vaccines also prevent transmission. Experts are worried that vaccinated people can still become infected without symptoms (asymptomatic) and then spread it to others who have not been vaccinated. So if vaccinated people don’t continue to wear a face mask until more people are fully vaccinated, they could cause the virus to keep spreading. Getting vaccinated means you’re much less likely to get sick and develop symptoms yourself, so it’s crucial that we protect others while they wait for their turn to be vaccinated.
- We still need to protect those with compromised immune systems and those who can’t be vaccinated: People with chronic medical conditions (like Heart disease and cancer) are at risk for developing a severe case of COVID-19. And since this people wasn’t involved in clinical trials, we can’t assume that they’ll have the same effectiveness rate. It is also recommended that if you’ve had an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine, you shouldn’t get it. If you had an allergic reaction to the first dose, the CDC doesn’t recommend getting the second dose. So if you’re fully vaccinated, it’s recommended to steer clear of those considered high-risk who are not vaccinated.
- There are still limited doses of the vaccine: There are more than 330 million people in the U.S. According to experts, 50% to 80% of the population will need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity, which could take us until the end of 2021.