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By Andrea Drever

Content and Editorial Director


Don’t toss that mask just yet. Because even if you’ve been vaccinated, you still need to wear one in public settings. Here’s why. 

It takes time for the vaccine to kick in. You won’t reach the nearly 95% effectiveness rate until two weeks after your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. For the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your single dose.

People who have been vaccinated might be asymptomatic spreaders.  Experts are concerned that vaccinated people can still become infected without symptoms and then spread it to others who haven’t been vaccinated yet. 

The virus still might be present in your nasal passages. The nose is the main port of entry for the virus, and it rapidly multiplies there. So even if you’ve been vaccinated, viruses might possibly bloom in your nose, and be sneezed or breathed out to infect others.

We still need to protect those with compromised immune systems and those who can’t be vaccinated. We know that people with chronic medical conditions are at risk for developing a severe case of COVID-19. And some people, because of allergies and other factors, can’t receive the vaccine.

So, tempting as it is, don’t toss your mask quite yet. Keep it on in public places to protect yourself, and those around you.

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