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#MaskUp: Why Masks Are Still Necessary...Even With A Vaccine

Advanced Products USA Why masks are still necessary even with a vaccine

With the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine, there is hope on the horizon for the end of COVID-19’s devastating impacts, and many are eager for a return to normalcy. This raises the question: are masks still necessary?

The short answer is Yes--you should still wear a mask, as well as practice social distancing measures, even after having been vaccinated.

 

Why Do We Need to Keep Wearing Masks?

Masks are worn primarily to prevent the spread of the user’s respiratory droplets from coming into contact with other people. This is especially important because some parts of the population may be asymptomatic, unknowingly carrying the virus but still capable of spreading it to others through contact with their infected respiratory droplets. Masks are useful in that they curb the spread of infected droplets whether or not the user is aware that they are carrying the virus.

As of now, studies of the COVID-19 vaccine have only measured symptoms of illness, not whether or not a patient contracts the virus or can spread it. At this point in time, the vaccine is known to be effective at preventing symptomatic illness and severe disease; however, it is not yet known whether or not the vaccine protects against transmission. It is also not yet known how effective or long-wearing the vaccine is on the general population, or whether additional boosters beyond the initial doses are needed. In the case that the vaccine does not protect against asymptomatic infections or is not as effective on certain individuals, it is possible that those who are vaccinated could still be carriers of the virus. With a mask, we can protect against the chance of transmitting the virus (and/or contracting it in the first place) by containing our respiratory droplets within the mask’s barrier.

In addition, as vaccines are being distributed around the country, a large portion of the population may not have access to the vaccine. This includes but is not limited to pregnant and nursing women, people with a history of severe allergic reactions and/or other medical conditions, and children under the age of 12. Furthermore, because the vaccine needs to be distributed to such a large portion of the population, it will take months before most people are able to be vaccinated. In order to protect everyone during this period, it is important that, as part of the community, we continue to wear our masks and utilize all of the tools and techniques we have available to help stop the pandemic in its tracks.

Finally, masks can also help prevent other illnesses, such as the flu, from spreading--which is especially helpful in the winter when flu activity typically surges.

 

When Can We Stop Wearing Masks?

There is not yet enough information to predict if or when the CDC will stop recommending social distancing and mask-wearing. However, on the whole, in order for the general population to achieve herd immunity and to curb the spread of COVID-19, it is estimated that about 70% (230 million) of Americans must have received both doses of the vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). How fast and whether or not this can be achieved depends on numerous factors, including efficiency of production and distribution, as well as the cooperation and willingness of the American people.

By working together, continuing to wear masks, and taking all of the precautions necessary to protect ourselves and others, we can start to see hope for the end of COVID-19.

Looking for masks? We're here to help. Advanced Products offers high-quality, 3-ply medical face masks, available in both single and bulk quantities. Contact us today if you are in need of consistent, stable supplies of masks for your organization.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html

https://apnews.com/article/mask-wearing-after-coronavirus-vaccine-f69b720444bd08565bf1f3a42e4a24ef

https://www.forbes.com/sites/coronavirusfrontlines/2020/10/20/why-youll-still-need-to-wear-a-mask-even-after-covid-19-vaccines-arrive/?sh=1198d4af5a42

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