The revised guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state the relaxation on the requirement to wear face masks. However, it is still essential to wear masks in certain high-risk situations.
With more population getting vaccinated for COVID-19, people are starting to wonder if they can return to their regular life or not. In this blog, we’ve covered everything you need to know about why, where, and when you may need to continue to wear a mask.
Meaning of ‘fully vaccinated’
If you want to understand the meaning of ‘fully vaccinated,’ it is crucial for you to know the type of vaccination you have received.
Vaccinations like Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech come in two doses. Even after you get both, it means that you are fully vaccinated after two weeks of receiving the second dose.
If the vaccine is Johnson & Johnson, it is in a single dose. It means that your consideration as ‘fully vaccinated’ will only be after two weeks of vaccination.
If you are under medication that weakens your immune system or under any medical condition, you are not fully protected. Even if you are fully vaccinated, you must wear a mask in all situations.
Situations where you need to wear a mask
As per doctors, if you are in public and are not aware of the vaccination status of other people, it is always a good idea to wear a mask. Even if it is a large gathering or crowded area, do not forget to wear a mask.
The specific locations where you need to be more vigilant are the enclosed areas like grocery stores, restaurants, planes, schools, or work. These are the places where physical distancing is not possible, and people around you may not be vaccinated or are not from your household.
Continuing to wear a mask
Vaccination is one strategy to achieve the health goal of limiting virus transmissions at a population level. However, until the community prevalence is low, we must all continue to wear masks indoors.
Two reasons why people must continue to wear masks are:
- There could be a slight chance ranging from 4 to 5 percent, that the person who received vaccination could fall sick and transmit the virus to someone else.
- There is no way for people to be aware of who is a fully vaccinated individual and who is not. If fully vaccinated people stop using the face mask, it’ll confuse the unvaccinated ones thinking they no longer need to wear masks.
Reasons why face mask is essential
- The vaccine needs time to kick in: There is less possibility for you to reach a nearly 95% effective rate until two weeks after the second dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. After the first dose, you get a partial immune response that could be good news for you.
- Vaccines do not provide 100% protection: Even though the COVID-19 vaccines are incredibly effective, they still offer 94% to 95% protection. It means that you are still 5% less protected.
- Vaccinated people can be asymptomatic spreaders: Vaccination helps prevent illness, but we need more research to determine if vaccination is helpful to prevent transmission. Many experts are concerned that the vaccinated people can become infected without the symptoms and may spread it to others who haven’t received the vaccination.
- Protection to those with a compromised immune system: People with chronic medical conditions like cancer and heart disease are at a greater risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19. No clinical trials for this category made it hard to determine if they have the same effectiveness rate. Also, if you have any allergic reaction to any ingredients in the vaccine, you should not get it.
- Limited doses of vaccination: More than 330 million people in the US will get vaccinated by the end of 2021.
We hope you are now fully aware of why wearing a mask must not be eliminated even after the vaccination.
Remember that vaccine is not an automatic off switch for the pandemic. It doesn’t mean an instant return to normal but instead a slow process of getting on track. Even if the CDC has relaxed its recommendation for wearing masks among fully vaccinated people, it remains essential that you wear them to protect the people around you.
Stay tuned with WiseRX to know more about the latest COVID-19 vaccination.