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Do You Need to Wear a Mask if You’re Vaccinated Against COVID-19?

Arjun has been following all protocols and guidelines that were rolled out during the COVID-19 pandemic. He eagerly waited for the vaccine to be released and booked a slot as soon as he could.

Arjun is now completely vaccinated. He is feeling happy, healthy, and just better in general. He recently came across an article online that said that individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask. Arjun is confused now.

Should he wear a mask when he goes out? Does getting the vaccine mean that there is no risk of acquiring the virus? How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine? You might also have the same doubts. And we will solve all these doubts related to the COVID vaccination in this blog.

Upcoming and Ongoing Research related to Masks, COVID-19, and Vaccines

Several countries across the globe are dropping the pandemic mask mandate. On the one hand, this has brought relief to a lot of people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. And on the other side, a lot of people are also confused in regards to whether this decision is correct or not.

According to experts, vaccination does not mean that you are completely protected from COVID-19. Even though the chances of contracting COVID-19 are low, an individual can still fall prey to the disease if precautions are not followed. The chances of the latter scenario are low but not non-existent.

The COVID-19 virus presents a risk to everyone. The new variants of the disease can also present other risks. Let’s look at some findings reported across the world now.

  • The Times of Israel reported that Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine is less effective against delta at about 60% protection. The vaccine still has over 90% protective benefit against hospitalization
  • Another study found that the mRNA vaccine is effective against a lambda variant, which has been discovered in Peru
  • According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) director, vaccines offer a high degree of protection
  • As of now, most of the new COVID-19 cases and deaths are of unvaccinated people
  • Vaccination has been quite successful in protecting individuals, families, and communities
  • Vaccinations help in avoiding the experience of severe symptoms, hospitalization, and deaths from COVID-19

No conclusive report has been provided in regards to whether masks are useful or not even after vaccination.

To Mask Or Not To Mask?

People like Arjun are getting vaccinated. At the same time, the novel coronavirus is constantly evolving with new variants that present the same danger, if not more, to the world population. This throws a big question mark on whether individuals should mask up after getting vaccinated.

According to experts in the domain, if an individual is suffering from a severe disease, then he or she should consult a healthcare professional before getting rid of mask use. This way the individual and the doctor would be able to arrive at a conclusive solution that is beneficial to the patient.

Beyond this, Arjun shouldn’t forget that masks help in reducing the transmission of COVID-19. This further implies that the more we can decrease the rate of transmission, then the more we can decrease the chances of any variants emerging.

Organizations and groups like the Country of Los Angeles Public Health strongly recommend all citizens wear masks irrespective of their vaccination status. This would decrease the spread of the delta variant and act as a great precautionary measure.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also urged all fully vaccinated individuals to continue wearing masks and practical social distancing. The reason behind this is that the pandemic has been very unpredictable. This can cause future complications and problems that governments across the globe are not ready to deal with.

Should I Wear a Mask?

If you are big on prevention and want to protect yourself from getting infected by COVID-19, then the best thing for you is to wear masks. You should also continue practicing social distancing.

It should be noted that the guidelines given by CDC have not changed for vaccinated people. This is even after there is good evidence that vaccinated people rarely get infected with COVID-19.

Further, it has been seen that even if vaccinated people do acquire the coronavirus, they have extremely mild symptoms. They are less able to pass on the disease to other people. The chances of transmission further decrease for people who are fully vaccinated.

So, if you are comfortable with wearing and want the best protection for yourself, then wearing a mask is the right option for you. However, if a mask causes you to have trouble breathing and suffer from other respiratory complications, then you can take off your mask if you are fully vaccinated.

Further, if you have a pre-existing severe illness, then it is not ideal to keep your masks aside just yet. If you are not sure, then you can always contact your local physician and doctor to get better insights into the issue.

Life Without a Mask

Arjun is wondering if there are any guidelines that he needs to follow if he decides to not wear a mask after being fully vaccinated. You can go through these guidelines by referring to the list mentioned below.

  • All activities performed prior to the pandemic can be resumed
  • One must still practice social distancing and wear masks in areas where it is mandatory
  • In some countries, individuals do not have to self-quarantine or get tested before or after traveling
  • If you have been in contact with someone who is suffering from COVID-19, then you need to stay away from other people and get tested as soon as possible
  • If you experience any symptoms related to COVID-19, then you should get tested as soon as possible

Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 One Step at a Time

Arjun has made the decision to wear his masks all the time even though he is fully vaccinated. He lives with his parents and wouldn’t want to put them at any risk. He is also comfortable with wearing a mask and doesn’t think that it is too much of a hassle for him.

You can make a decision regarding masking up or not masking up depending on what feels right to you and the guidelines issued in your country. If you still have doubts, then you can always reach out to a medical professional to get personalized suggestions and opinions on this dilemma.

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