It is still important to wear masks, even after being vaccinated

Even with the success of the COVID-19 vaccines, continuing to wear a mask and social distance is important to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Those who have the vaccine are still capable of catching COVID-19.

As the percentage of Americans vaccinated continues to rise, it is important for those who are vaccinated to continue to take precautions against COVID-19 when with unvaccinated or high-risk groups.
Currently, almost 30% of the US population is vaccinated against COVID-19. The FDA has currently approved three vaccines: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
The vaccines are currently offered to people ages 16 and up, and Pfizer is seeking authorization for ages 12-15.
While this information may make it seem like COVID-19 protocols will be going away soon, it is still important for those who are vaccinated to continue to practice these protocols with unvaccinated people.
Currently, the CDC recommends that those who are fully vaccinated do not attend medium to large gatherings or visit indoors with those at increased risk of complication from COVID-19.
It is critical that these guidelines are respected because those who are vaccinated can still catch the virus. Vaccine producers and independent groups are still testing how/if the virus can spread from those who are vaccinated.
Also, the vaccine will not be effective forever, even Pfizer and Moderna’s two-shot method. They are still measuring the length of time vaccines are effective and when a booster shot will be required.
It will be critical for those who are eligible to receive their booster shot to do so whenever it becomes available to prevent themselves from losing any immunity.
One of the biggest reasons to keep wearing masks and social distancing is because the US has yet to reach herd immunity.
Herd immunity occurs when a disease is less likely to spread, primarily due to the use of vaccinations. Herd immunity will most likely occur when the US has reached between 50-80% of the population vaccinated.
Health cites the length of time it takes for a population to reach herd immunity as one of the many reasons to continue to wear a mask.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, it is important for those who are vaccinated to continue to wear a mask because they can be asymptomatic carriers.
The Cleveland Clinic also recommends continuing to mask to protect those who cannot receive the vaccine.
Some people with chronic illnesses or those who have had an allergic reaction to the vaccine cannot receive it. Wearing a mask can prevent spreading COVID-19 to them.
While the vaccine is definitely helping to improve the pandemic, it is not an automatic fix. Doses of the vaccine are limited and not every country has access to the vaccine like the US does.
The vaccine is not a cure-all, but it is a step in the right direction. As for now, it is important to continue to respect COVID protocols and for each person to do their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19.