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With vaccination programs being rolled out across the United States, many Americans are wondering if they should still wear face masks after they get vaccinated. The fact of the matter is that you should still continue to wear face masks for added protection. Here are some reasons why this is important.
Vaccines Are Not 100% Effective
While vaccines offer effective protection from COVID-19, the reality is that they are not a guarantee that you will not get infected. Indeed we have seen many cases in the media where people who have been vaccinated still get infected with the disease. This is not just about the vaccines themselves but also how they are handled. While all vaccine centers follow strict guidelines on how to handle vaccines, any slight variation from these guidelines can affect how effective the vaccines are. What this means is that while you are significantly less likely to get Covid-19 if you are vaccinated, you can further minimize your chances of infection by using face masks.
Vaccines Take Time to Offer Full Protection
When you get vaccinated, you do not immediately get the protection that you are looking for. Indeed some vaccines require two shots before you can get full protection. During this window, there is a chance that you could get infected with the coronavirus. This is the reason why health authorities are urging Americans to use face masks and maintain social distancing rules to ensure that they further minimize the risk of infection.
You Can Still Infect Others
When it comes to spreading the virus, you can still do this even after you have been vaccinated. It is easy to forget that face masks such as the N95 not only protect us from infection but also protect others from us. Getting your COVID-19 shot is no guarantee that you will not pass the virus to other people, even though your symptoms may be mild or non-existent.
This is especially true for people who have their immune systems compromised for one reason or another. For example, people undergoing cancer treatment or people with HIV tend to have lower-than-average immunity. This in turn makes them susceptible to getting opportunistic infections. Since it is impossible to tell who is immune-compromised in a social setting, the right thing to do is to mask up.
More Research Is Needed
One of the things that are easy to forget about COVID-19 is that it is a fairly recent disease. As new strains emerge, there is ongoing research about the effectiveness of the vaccines against these new strains. Fortunately, all indicators are that the vaccines are highly effective against the new strains as well. However, it is important to take all the safety approaches that are available until more is known as this disease. For this reason, it makes sense to stay masked up for time being.
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