3 reasons why we need to wear a mask after COVID-19 vaccination

If you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, you might feel like you can do away with the face mask and face shield that have become our constant companions over the past 10 months. However, wearing our personal protective equipment (PPE) after vaccination is still just as important as ever.

Here’s why:

1. There simply aren’t enough people who have been vaccinated yet.

While there are several variables that will need to be evaluated before we can relax safety precautions, the number of vaccinated Americans is currently too low to offer enough protection from the vaccine alone and could take several months. You should watch the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) for further guidance about PPE and vaccinations.

2. We don’t yet know if vaccination stops asymptomatic spread.

While clinical trials indicate that COVID-19 vaccines, like Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, are about 95% effective at preventing symptoms of COVID-19 in the vaccine recipient, we do not yet know how well they will help stop the spread of the virus. Keeping up your safety standards protects yourself and others until we have more data on the full effectiveness of the vaccine.

3. We also know that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is evolving

...and there is some early indication that the current vaccines may not be fully protective for these new variants. This means it is critical that Iowans do everything we can to try to reduce the numbers of COVID cases—by using the tried-and-true protective measures to reduce the evolution and spread of new variants in addition vaccinating people as quickly as possible.

Last reviewed: 
February 2021

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