Monday, June 14, 2021

Vaccines won’t give instant immunity so hang on to your masks, experts say

'It might be up to 95% effective for many people but you don’t know how effective it will be for you.'

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US President Donald Trump’s Covid-19 expert Dr Anthony Fauci is saying people should still wear masks and practise social distancing even after getting vaccinated.

On Monday, Moderna announced that its vaccine is more than 94% effective. On Nov 9, Pfizer and BioNTech said theirs was 90% effective.

“Obviously, with these vaccines, you could feel much more confident about not getting the virus,” Fauci told CNN. “Even though for the general population it might be 90 to 95% effective, you don’t know how effective it will be for you. Up to 10% of vaccinated people may still get the virus.”

Dr David Ho, a virologist at Columbia University, said, “The protective effect of a vaccine may take at least one month, if not slightly longer. Therefore, for the foreseeable future, we will need to continue our mitigation measures, including wearing masks.”

Dr Bruce Hirsch, an infectious disease expert, adds that many people have strong negative feelings about vaccines and may not take them, which “will impact the general population from being immune and prolong the threat of the pandemic”.

Experts all agree that as the vaccine trials progress, efficacy numbers could change, and it is also not yet clear how long any immunity would last.

Fauci, told CNN that when it is his turn to get vaccinated, he doesn’t plan on abandoning all protective measures. ″I could feel more relaxed, but I think abandoning them completely would not be a good idea.

“We are not going to turn the pandemic off, going from where we are now to completely normal. It’s going to be a gradual accrual of more normality as the weeks and the months go by, until well into 2021.”

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