With the delta variant spreading all over the world and the increasing number of people dropping pandemic mask mandates, experts warn that even those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may be at risk.
Why You Need to Wear a Mask
The vaccine action takes time.
No one will reach the nearly 95% effectiveness rate until two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. After the first dose, you do get a partial immune response, which is good news, but it doesn’t mean you’re immediately protected the minute the needle goes in your arm. For the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you’re considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your single dose.
Covid-19 vaccine does not provide 100% protection.
Although the vaccines are incredibly effective (and were nothing short of amazing in terms of turnaround), they only offer 94% to 95% protection. There’s no way to tell who the 5% will be who don’t respond to the vaccine and will still be at risk for COVID-19. In comparison, 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!
Vaccinated Subjects might be asymptomatic spreaders.
More research is needed to determine if the vaccines also prevent transmission. Vaccinated people can become infected without symptoms and spread the infection to others who have not been vaccinated yet. Since the pandemic unfolded nearly a year ago, experts have worried about silent spreaders. If vaccinated people don’t continue to wear a face mask until more people are considered fully vaccinated, they could cause the virus to keep circulating. Getting vaccinated means you’re much less likely to get sick and develop symptoms yourself, so it’s critical that we protect others while they wait for their turn to receive the vaccine.
Protect Population 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 population wasn’t involved in clinical trials, we can’t assume that they’ll have the same effectiveness rate.
People with an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine, shouldn’t get it. Also, If a person had an allergic reaction to the first dose, the CDC recommends not to get the second dose. Some pregnant women (who are also considered high risk and weren’t included in clinical trials) opted out of getting vaccinated or chose to be vaccinated after they give birth. If you’re fully vaccinated, it’s recommended to steer clear of those considered high-risk who are not vaccinated.
The vaccine is not an automatic off switch for the pandemic
As much as we’d all like to hope that the vaccine means an instant return to normal – it’s not.