Post COVID-19 vaccine? Don’t go back to your pre-pandemic ways

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Many people have received one or both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and I’ve been reading that post-vaccination means going back to how it was pre-pandemic – party with all your friends in a crowded restaurant.

I don’t mean to be THAT guy – you know, the one that says that buying a trampoline for your kids is not a good idea. But I’ve seen too many social media posts in which people are stating that they are now protected so they don’t have to worry about things. They are just plain wrong.

Despite my being solidly in support of the COVID-19 vaccine, there are three very good reasons to continue to be diligent post-vaccination. 

Post COVID-19 vaccine diligence

There are four good reasons to continue to wear masks and maintaining social distancing post-COVID-19 vaccine:

Vaccine effectiveness

At best, the first two vaccines available, from Moderna and Pfizer, show around 95% effectiveness in reducing the risk of contracting the disease. That means that about 5% of vaccinations don’t produce an effective immune response. And because COVID-19 is still widespread, someone who didn’t get an appropriate immune response from the vaccine may be vulnerable to the disease. 

Vaccines like MMR, for measles, mumps, and rubella, also have around a 93-97% effectiveness. But we don’t worry too much about those few people who didn’t get proper immunity because over 90% of people are vaccinated, so the risk of transmission is very low (though it does happen). 

Long-term vaccine effectiveness

Because there was a strategy across the world to get people vaccinated to reduce the mortality rate from the disease, we knew we didn’t have the luxury of a long-term clinical trial to observe effectiveness for more than just a few months. 

Thus, there is some risk that the vaccine loses effectiveness over time, whether it’s months or years, or that a new mutation arises that could avoid the immune response conferred by the vaccine. It will take time to determine if there is long-term COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness.

Asymptomatic infection

As of today, we do not know if these vaccines can prevent asymptomatic carriers, that is, someone who carries the SARS-CoV-2 virus but shows no symptoms. Therefore, it could be possible that someone who is post-COVID-19 vaccine could transmit the disease to someone who is not immune.

Social responsibility

Unless we want to tattoo people on their faces with “Vaccinated against COVID-19,” it’s going to be difficult to determine who has and has not been vaccinated.

I’m going to be in the last group of people to get the vaccine, so when I walk into a grocery store, I don’t know if the person walking in front of me without a mask is actually vaccinated. Or if they’re vaccinated but are still an asymptomatic carrier. Or they lie about being vaccinated because they hate masks for some ridiculous reason. 

Wear your damn mask

Until we have herd immunity of probably well over 80%, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, we are all at risk of the disease. And we want that herd immunity from the vaccine, not from contracting the disease – doing that is a form of genocide

So, even if you are post-COVID-19 vaccine, you need to continue to do four things:

  1. Stay home except for essential needs.
  2. Wear a mask. Yes, the stop the transmission of COVID-19. Seriously, they work. Science says they work. More science says they work. And more science says they work
  3. Keep your distance.
  4. Wash your hands.

Even though it’s still difficult to do, being post-COVID-19 vaccine does not give us a free pass to do whatever we want until we get an all-clear from public health experts that we have achieved a community level of immunity that we are protected from this disease.

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The Original Skeptical Raptor
Chief Executive Officer at SkepticalRaptor
Lifetime lover of science, especially biomedical research. Spent years in academics, business development, research, and traveling the world shilling for Big Pharma. I love sports, mostly college basketball and football, hockey, and baseball. I enjoy great food and intelligent conversation. And a delicious morning coffee!