The COVID-19 vaccine is now available across Canada and has started being administered throughout the country. If you think that after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, you will not have to worry about wearing a mask or social distancing, you may want to think again.
Will Life Go Back To Normal After We Get The COVID-19 Vaccine?
The answer is simply NO.
Masks and social distancing will still be recommended for quite some time after people are vaccinated. For starters, the first coronavirus vaccines require two shots; Pfizer's second dose comes three weeks after the first and Moderna's comes after four weeks.
The effects of vaccinations are generally not immediate.
People are expected to get some level of protection within a couple of weeks after the first shot. While the full protection may not happen until a couple of weeks after the second shot.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that it is important to continue following the protection guidelines in place while experts learn more about the protection the COVID-19 vaccines provide, the possibility of vaccinated people continuing to spread the disease and more about immunity and reinfection if someone has recovered from COVID-19.
Vaccine Rollout Times Will Impact How Fast We Return To Normal
The speed at which populations receive the vaccine will influence how soon the pandemic ends.
People who are most at risk of developing severe health complications from COVID-19 will be vaccinated first.
When it comes to deciding which populations need to be vaccinated urgently, provinces will use suggestions from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
"The immune response, including duration of immunity, to COVID-19, is not yet understood." -CDC
People May Think It Is Okay To Stop Wearing a Mask
It is going to take months or longer for enough of the population to be vaccinated to start seeing case numbers go down substantially. Therefore, it is still important to continue wearing masks whenever you are outside your home.
Wearing a mask adds to the protection of the vaccination, without people wearing masks we are still susceptible to the virus being spread from one person to another.
This is highly due to the fact that there will be people who do not want to receive the vaccine.
If a significant portion of the population refuses to take the vaccine, we will likely not see numbers of new cases decrease as rapidly.
If people stop wearing their masks after getting vaccinated, other people who have not yet been vaccinated could start to think that wearing masks are not necessary anymore.
"Masks are a key measure to suppress transmission and save lives."
Public Health Guidelines Is Still Important
Public health guidelines are still essential, and we need to respect and follow them as a society, for the betterment of us all.
As vaccines roll out, continuing to socially distance, wear masks, and use hand sanitizer will keep the number of new cases lower.
“A lot of people are thinking that once they get vaccinated, they’re not going to have to wear masks anymore, it’s really going to be critical for them to know if they have to keep wearing masks because they could still be contagious.”
If we are able to slow the spread in communities that are not yet vaccinated, we will get back to normal much faster.
At the present time, there is just not enough information to determine if or when the majority of the population can safely stop wearing masks and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. When there are enough evident changes, such as cases clearly dropping, and when that happens, medical experts can redetermine the need for mask-wearing. The reality is it could be well into 2021 before that even happens, so be sure to protect yourself and others and wear a proper mask and any other additional PPE you need to keep safe.