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5 Reasons to Wear a Mask Even After You're Vaccinated

1. No vaccine is 100% effective.

Clinical trials of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines found that two doses offer up to 95% immunity against the coronavirus.

2. Vaccines don’t provide immediate protection.

It is not until two weeks after you receive your complete vaccine dosage that you have full protection. For Pfizer and Moderna this is two weeks after your second shot.

3. Vaccinated people may still be able to spread the virus.

While the COVID-19 vaccine clearly prevents illness, researchers need more time to figure out whether they prevent transmission, too. If you’ve been vaccinated, it may still be possible to unknowingly spread the virus to those around you. Until researchers know for sure, wearing a mask is the safest way to protect others while they wait for the vaccine.

4. Masks protect people with compromised immune systems.

People with chronic health conditions, like heart disease or cancer, are at risk of developing severe cases of COVID-19. Unfortunately, recent studies of people with cancer show that they are not as well-protected by the COVID-19 vaccine. Continuing to wear a mask helps protect those with compromised immune systems.

5. Masks protect against any strain of the coronavirus, in spite of genetic mutations.

Global health leaders are extremely concerned about new genetic variants of COVID-19, which appear at least 50% more contagious than the original. So far, studies suggest the current vaccines will work against these new strains. Until a much higher percentage of people are vaccinated, masking and social distancing will remain important tools to limit the spread.

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine brings us one step closer to the end of this pandemic, but we’ll need to continue masking and social distancing in order to truly end COVID-19.