With the coming of coronavirus vaccines that the world has been waiting for, many people are now asking whether wearing face masks is still mandatory for those who have been vaccinated with the treatment.
Health professionals said that while the vaccine would protect someone from the coronavirus infection, it is still unclear if it helps avoid infecting other people they come into contact with. Officials would still require facial coverings amid vaccinations to ensure that treated individuals would not spread the COVID-19 virus to those who are still vulnerable.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to give its approval to Pfizer’s experimental coronavirus vaccine this week. A second inoculation for Moderna’s treatment could arrive by next week.
Medical professionals developed the coronavirus vaccines at breathtaking speeds, much faster than regular treatments. Groups of scientists worldwide came together to work on making the products. Infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Monica Gandhi, said the trials tracked individuals who were vaccinated and still got infected with the virus. He said, “Because of the expediency, they weren’t designed to rule out asymptomatic infection.”
The medical professional expected the world would still need to use face masks when going out and socializing until population immunity is achieved. The event would bring near-total protection to everyone and not only individuals who are immune to the virus. Experts said population immunity would be reached when about 70% of the entire population is immune from the virus.
The head of the U.S. vaccine development effort, Moncef Slaoui, estimated that as early as May, the country could achieve herd immunity if Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines are able to deliver their expected effectiveness. However, the assumption is based on a completely fluid process of manufacture and distribution of the treatment and that enough people volunteer to get their injections, the San Francisco Gate reported.
The chair of the department of medicine at UCSF, Dr. Bob Wachter, has been closely monitoring the development of the coronavirus vaccine. He has a delayed estimation of the event and placed herd immunity anticipation to be in September.
Officials recommend the continued use of face masks for people who tested positive for the virus and patients who have recovered from it. Despite the extremely low chances of getting re-infected with the coronavirus, researchers are still in the dark about much of the possibilities and how immunity would affect the pandemic.