Masks After Vaccination: Better Safe than Sorry
As vaccination campaigns become successful in many countries of the world, the next question is whether to continue wearing masks after vaccination? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, masking might be necessary for special settings. Some experts request that vaccinated people continue wearing masks until the situation goes back to normal and we overcome the public health emergency. Similarly, scientists are worried about the possibility of the spread of the virus from vaccinated people.
CDC has revised its set of guidelines for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. If you are unvaccinated, it is important to keep wearing a mask. Likewise, do not think that masking up means you can stop social distancing. This is especially important when you are indoors and there are people from multiple households. Similarly, if you have infected people at your home, you must be cautious at all times. Furthermore, some of the habits that you developed during the pandemic should continue. This includes proper care and consideration of personal hygiene like washing your hands and sanitizing and avoiding touching your face.
For fully vaccinated people, there is much freedom. Full vaccination occurs 2 weeks after receiving the 2nd dose of a 2-dose requirement or a single dose of a 1-dose requirement. Social distancing and masks may not be necessary until it is required by the law in your workplace or your state. Likewise, if you are travelling to other countries, you may require masks after vaccination, especially in public settings.
Don’t Throw Them Away Yet
If you are considering throwing away your masks after vaccination, waiting for a little more will do good. This also depends on the country that you are living in and its state of vaccination campaigns. Likewise, as new variants emerge throughout the world, we are still unsure about the effectiveness of different vaccines. Some of the reasons why we should wear masks after vaccination are listed below.
New Variants Are Popping Up
One of the major reasons why you should keep wearing masks after vaccination, at least for a certain period of time, is the development of new variants. The B.1.1.7 or the Alpha variant was first discovered in the UK in September 2020. This is considered to be 56% more transmissible and more deadly than the original coronavirus strain discovered in Wuhan. Likewise, B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2, referred to by WHO as Kappa and Delta respectively were discovered in India.
As we study the effectiveness of various vaccines in combating the new variants, masking can be an effective option for now.
Vaccines Need Time to Reach Full Effectiveness
When you have your dose of a 1-dose series or the 2nd dose of a 2-dose series, you do not reach full vaccination then and there. Therefore, masks after vaccination are necessary until the vaccines reach their full effectiveness. Generally speaking, this will take up to 2 weeks. Furthermore, those who already have the vaccines are not under 100% protection. Pfizer and Moderna claim up to 95% and 94% efficacy against COVID-19. However, that 5% to 6% can be an area of concern especially for people with a weak immune system. Likewise, Johnson and Johnson gave 66% efficacy in preventing symptomatic COVID 19 during its global trial. Oxford-AstraZeneca demonstrates up to 70% efficacy. Russia’s Sputnik V has an efficacy of about 91.5% after the 2nd dose. Furthermore, Covaxin, from Bharat Biotech, holds 100% efficacy against severe, 78% against mild and moderate, and 70% against asymptomatic infections.
Preventing Transmission to Others
Prevention of transmission to people around you is a key reason why you should keep wearing masks after vaccination. Although it is highly unlikely that you will develop severe symptoms, we cannot fully guarantee that you will not spread the virus. The research is underway and it will take some time before we get compelling evidence.
Best Type of Masks According to the Experts
Now that you have learned why masks after vaccination are still important, let us understand which type of masks offer the best protection.
Cloth masks are one of the best choices if you are considering masks after vaccination. However, you must be careful of the number of layers of fabric. According to the CDC, you must choose a mask with two or more layers of washable and breathable fabric. Ideally, a 3-layer fabric mask offers the best protection whereas you should completely avoid a single-layer mask. Furthermore, you must make sure that there is a good fit on your face. Therefore, look out for those that come with a bendable piece of metal that you can adjust around your nose for a better fit.
Surgical masks are for health workers as a preventive measure against respiratory droplets. Therefore, the development and manufacturing of these types of masks are under standard regulations. They are made up of paper and plastics and you must throw them away after a certain period of use. Most importantly, while using these types of masks, make sure that it is properly fit in your ear and your nose and mouth are fully covered.
N95 masks offer better protection against COVID 19 and typically against very small particles. The ‘N95’ refers to the ability of these masks to filter out 95% of 0.3-micron particles, which includes bacteria and viruses. Typically, these are designed for health workers who work very closely with highly infected patients in dangerous situations. They can filter out both inhaled and exhaled air protecting you from others and others from you.
Lifestyle Trends with Top World Business
In this blog, we learned the importance of masks after vaccination. First, we talked about the CDC guidelines for unvaccinated and fully vaccinated people and how the latter enjoy more freedom. Similarly, we understood various settings where masking is useful and where you can safely keep it out. Furthermore, we came across several reasons why you should not completely throw away your masks. Finally, we concluded the discussion with the best types of masks and the level of protection they provide.
Top World Business is a one-stop place for all the lifestyle news from every corner of the globe. Our aim is to keep you updated on recent and future lifestyle trends so you can make your life more interesting. Contact us if you have any further queries.