Should fully vaccinated people go out without wearing a mask?

Do we need to wear mask after getting vaccine

Dr Shahjahan P A, Specialist Internal Medicine, Aster Clinic, Al Qusais (Damascus St.)

The novel coronavirus has brought along heaps of disarray, transmutation, and dreadful episodes of loss and grief. It has afflicted millions of lives and continues to take a toll on people in multiple ways. The devastation caused by the second wave is significant and only highlights the unpredictability of the SARs-COV-2 virus, which is why getting your vaccinations is of utmost importance. However, does receiving your COVID vaccines mean that you can shun the COVID guidelines and forget about wearing your masks? Not really! Here's everything you should know.

Lately, The UAE National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NECMA) updated the national travel protocol, easing travel for vaccinated people. All travelers, including those fully vaccinated, must wear a mask at all places, buses, trains, and other forms of public transport. It has also been suggested to get tested if any symptoms appear, quarantine, and stay in isolation if tested positive.

The skepticism around vaccinations has remained for a long time, even before the SARs-COV-2 virus took over our lives. But given the rate of COVID-19 infections and considering how new variants are surfacing every day, Covid vaccines are the need of the hour. Young or old, fit or someone with a pre-existing medical condition, everyone is prone to infections. That said, getting yourself vaccinated is the only way to gain a certain amount of protection against the virus and its variants.

Precautions for fully-vaccinated individuals

  • Fully vaccinated does not mean you are immune to the Covid-19 virus. While vaccines are potent, you are still at the risk of affected by the virus. None of the current vaccines provide 100% protection. It gives a better chance to fight the Covid-19 virus. Hence, wearing a mask even after getting vaccinated is optimal.
  • Fully vaccinated does not mean you cannot spread the virus to others. You can become a carrier of the virus, be asymptomatic and spread it among the people you come in touch with. Hence, it is advisable to follow safety measures for fully vaccinated people & consider taking precautions like washing hands regularly and sanitizing the hands often, even if you are vaccinated.

Covid-19 Symptoms in Fully Vaccinated individuals

The chances of individuals contracting Covid-19 after being vaccinated are rare—it is called a breakthrough infection—and might have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Therefore, if you experience a prolonged sore throat, shortness of breath, fever, cough or any other Covid symptoms, you should consult a doctor. If advised, one must also go for the test and isolate themselves from others for 14 days.

How long is the Covid-19 vaccine effective?

The arrival of Covid-19 vaccines in India has been nothing less than a silver lining for the people suffering from the frightful pandemic which claimed many lives and left many dealing with terrible complications, including long Covid.
Covid vaccines work to boost up the body's immune response against the pathogen by generating antibodies that recognize and evade the infection in the future. However, since the novel coronavirus is a new type of virus and Covid vaccines have just been developed, there's no solid evidence that could determine how well a person is protected after the vaccination or the duration of immunity it provides. Until that time, it is still advised to stay cautious and follow all the guidelines given by the government of the UAE to stay safe from the Covid-19 virus.