Do I Still Need to Wear a Mask After Vaccination?

Mar 17, 2021

Vaccines are rolling out through front-line workers and the most vulnerable. Over the next few months, more and more will finally be vaccinated. Yet, once we have the vaccine, or if we’ve already had the virus, we could still be wearing a mask for months to come. We take a look at why you may still want or need to wear a mask post-vaccine.

Do I Have to Wear a Mask if I’ve Been Vaccinated?

The vaccine means you are protected. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you’re incapable of spreading the virus. Although you won’t be infected through contact with the virus, you’ll have the potential to infect others. Although in some situations you can go mask-free, most of the time you still have to follow regular safety protocol.

When Do Vaccinated People NOT Need to Wear a Mask?

The rules on this do vary somewhat depending on where you live. Of course, if your state has removed the mask mandate you do not have to wear it at all—although some stores and buildings may require a mask for entry.

Generally, vaccinated people do not have to wear a mask if they are gathering with other fully vaccinated people. You are fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving your final dose. So two weeks after a single dose vaccine (like J&J’s), or two weeks after your second two-dose vaccine (like Pfizer).

As well, after full vaccination, you can gather indoors with unvaccinated people who are from a single household. Social distancing and masks are only required in this situation if one or more of the people has increased risk factors.

Why Do I Have to Wear a Mask?

Protection of Others

Wearing a mask helps to protect others medically and psychologically. There remains a possibility that you can spread the virus to others if you are exposed to it. As such, you should continue practices like washing your hands regularly, wearing face masks around unvaccinated people, and washing masks after each use.

In addition to infection, not wearing a mask can also cause fear or anxiety among others. While your friends and family may know that you are safe, strangers don’t. Unless you want to spend all day explaining to everyone you see that you are fully vaccinated, it’s worth putting on a mask. In stressful times, it’s one simple thing you can do to help prevent more anxiety.

Access to Services

Most businesses and government buildings reserve the right to deny entry or deny service to people who aren’t wearing masks. If their policy requires a mask, saying you have your vaccination doesn’t guarantee entry. Arguing or attempting to prove you have the vaccination will eat up your time and energy, but it won’t get you into the shop.

If you want to make use of a business or service that requires a mask, save yourself some trouble and wear the mask.

The Vaccine is Not 100% Effective

The approved vaccines are very effective. The Moderna vaccine is 94.1% effective and Pfizer is 91.3% effective. Using these vaccines is the key to controlling and eliminating the virus. 

Still, there remains a small margin of error. As such, until mass vaccination eradicates COVID there remains a possibility of even vaccinated people being infected. Wearing a mask after vaccination not only protects others but yourself as well.

Mask-Wearing Isn’t Going Away Just Yet

Although we can see the end of the tunnel, a return to COVID-free life is still (at least) months away. Mask-wearing isn’t going anywhere for a while, even if you have the vaccine. In the meantime, make yourself as comfortable as you can by choosing a more comfortable mask.

The PowerAir breathable mask insert slides inside any mask, improving breathability and comfort—without sacrificing safety. Stay safe and stay comfortable.

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