Doctors are asking people to keep wearing their masks and taking precautions, even after they get their COVID-19 vaccines.
UAB’s Dr. Ellen Eaton already got both doses of her COVID-19 vaccine.
“There are a lot of happy tears, a lot of joy and elation,” she told ABC 33/40.
But she and her family are still taking precautions.
“We’re going to need to continue doing the same public health measures, that includes masking, that includes avoiding indoor gatherings and hand hygiene just like we have been,” Eaton said.
Here's why. First, it takes time to get your protection.
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“From our clinical trials, we know about a week or two after someone gets the second shot, they will be protected- about 94-95 percent depending on which of these new vaccines they receive,” Eaton said.
Eaton also says there's a chance you could still spread coronavirus after you get your shots.
“What we don’t know about the vaccination is if it prevents these silent, asymptomatic infections,” Eaton said. “That’s really important for us to know- after we’ve had both doses, there’s a chance we could spread an asymptomatic infections.”
As she urges caution, hope is on the way.
“I do think in time, once we have herd immunity- that is 70% or more of our population has either been infected with coronavirus from getting it in the community or has been vaccinated-once we hit that benchmark with the majority of our population having immunity, we’ll start to see the CDC and other agencies peeling back recommendations in terms of masking and distancing. We’ll start seeing more gatherings indoors,” Eaton said.