As COVID-19 vaccinations continue to roll out to individuals all over the world, experts explain that the speedy development of an immensely effective vaccine is nothing short of amazing—and it’s the first major step in ending the coronavirus pandemic. But, there are still a lot of questions that remain about what will come after we get vaccinated; including whether or not we will need to continue wearing a mask.
You might be thinking, “Well, if I’m vaccinated, I shouldn’t have to abide by any of the rules that were set in place because of COVID.” Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case.
Anthony Fauci, M.D., the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, reported in November that “it’s not going to be a light switch” back to pre-COVID days. He explained, “I would recommend people to not abandon all public health measures just because you have been vaccinated.” This includes wearing a face mask, social distancing, staying out of large crowds, and washing your hands thoroughly and frequently.
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. (AP)
But, why would we need to do these things if we had been vaccinated?
Well, right now we know a lot of things about the Pfizer vaccine, but we don’t know everything. We do know that it is very effective at preventing symptomatic illness and severe disease from COVID-19. That means that the vaccine prevents people from getting sick enough that they develop symptoms, and most importantly, it prevents people from becoming so severely ill that they end up in the hospital. We don’t know, though, whether or not the vaccine actually prevents someone from carrying COVID-19 and spreading it to others. They may be asymptomatic, but they could still be carrying the virus and transmitting it to others who may not be vaccinated.
Before we can all truly go back to our normal lives, we need to achieve what is called “herd immunity.” When most of a population is immune to an infectious disease, this provides indirect protection—or herd immunity—to those who are not immune to the disease. For example, if 80% of a population is immune to a virus, four out of every five people who encounter someone with the disease won’t get sick and won’t spread the disease any further. In this way, the spread of infectious diseases is kept under control.
Pfizer says that it should be able to make up to 1.3 billion doses of its vaccine in 2021, while Moderna has confirmed it can produce 500 million to 1 billion doses globally this year.
Since each person needs to get two doses of these vaccines, the number of people who can actually be vaccinated is about half that number, which means that it is going to take time for everyone to be vaccinated and for Australia, as well as the rest of the world, to achieve herd immunity.
The truth is, we are going to need to continue wearing masks until it is safe for everyone to be without them. This is a situation where we need to be thinking about others as well as ourselves. As much as some of us may be ready to ditch the face coverings, let’s continue to push through and help those around us as much as possible.
Plus, wearing a mask doesn’t need to be all bad! Our company sells sustainable, durable face coverings to help you protect yourself and the ones you love. Our cloth face coverings are durable, simple, stylish, and breathable. Our polymer face masks are designed in Australia and carefully crafted with comfort in mind as they cup the mouth and nose with the perfect amount of coverage and breathability. We would love to provide you with a lasting, protective face covering that will surely make you ready to take on the next few months of public health regulations. If you’re interested, please visit Topmask Australia to view all of our styles and sizes.