Why you still need to wear a mask after getting COVID-19 vaccine

-Vaccination does not provide instant immunity. Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s vaccines require two doses administered weeks apart. Depending on the vaccine, it can take four to six weeks from initial dosing to achieve immunity and protection levels comparable to those in clinical trials. During this time it is still possible to contract an infection and fall ill.

-Vaccination trials did not track whether participants wore masks. While clinical trials have strict enrollment and monitoring criteria, it isn’t clear whether those participating in the studies were provided guidance on mask usage. Given a lack of data, it is not clear whether vaccination efficacy had anything to do with vaccine trial participants adhering to public health safety measures, like wearing masks…

The duration of vaccine immunity is unknown. The Food and Drug Administration requires a median two months of safety and efficacy data following completion of the vaccination regimen for emergency use authorization. The length of vaccine coverage is yet to be determined and will be monitored as vaccination campaigns are rolled out. The good news is that our immune system’s memory cells, which identify infections and mounts an immune response, persisted beyond six months in certain patients infected with COVID-19.