With the vaccine almost ready for distribution, Americans are getting antsy about returning to some semblance of normalcy. The thought of eating inside a restaurant, hanging out in a bar, going back to work, etc. – all without a mask – seems like a dream come true. However, experts say you shouldn’t toss out your face coverings just yet. Supporting their warnings, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), says that you’ll still need to wear a mask after you get the vaccine.
Although the vaccine will be an integral part of defeating the COVID-19 virus, you shouldn’t expect it to be a miracle and demolish the virus overnight. On Dec. 10, Fauci told Chris Cuomo on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time that we should expect to be wearing masks for a while longer. Fauci said that if we’d like to say goodbye to our masks, we’d need the “overwhelming majority of the country” to have COVID immunity either through vaccination or herd immunity. As of now, Fauci said, the spread of the virus isn’t slowing down, which means you’d have to hold on to your mask even after getting vaccinated.
As mentioned, the vaccine is a powerful tool in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus, but it is not perfect. Fauci said that even when vaccinated, you might not develop the disease, but you could still be a carrier of it. It is also possible that you would end up getting sick yourself. Fauci said the vaccine is 94 to 95 percent able to prevent “clinically recognizable disease,” so the chances of seeing any COVID symptoms once you’re vaccinated are minimal. But it is still possible. I hope that you are all staying healthy and safe and are looking out for yourself. Here is to hoping that this vaccination would prove itself, even if not immediately, soon enough.