Science Ticker

Precautions Should Continue After COVID-19 Vaccine

For many reasons, health experts are warning people to continue to practice COVID safety guidelines like mask wearing, hand washing, and social distancing even after they get the vaccine. This advice comes from our understanding of how the vaccine works.

For example, 95% prevention effectiveness is not achieved until one week after the second vaccination for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Before that level is reached, people are still somewhat vulnerable to the disease while the effectiveness builds up. Once that level is achieved, there is still about a 5% chance that a person could experience moderate to severe symptoms of COVID-19.

Furthermore, doctors are not yet sure if the vaccine prevents someone from being a carrier. It is possible that you could get the vaccine, not get sick from the virus, and still spread the virus to others who have not or cannot get the vaccine. So in order to protect yourself and others, doctors still recommend precautions.

Read more over at NPR.