People are sick of masks. We all get it. So when can we stop wearing them?
The answer is: not anytime soon.
Bahrain recently launched a COVID-19 vaccination campaign free of charge for residents and citizens alike. While this development holds much promise, this does not mean that we can stop wearing masks anytime soon. There are still numerous reasons we still need to wear masks to maintain the remarkable strides that the government and frontline workers have made during the pandemic.
Reason 1: You won’t know who has or hasn’t been vaccinated
It would be impossible to ensure that each person you come across with is vaccinated. Some may have medical conditions that prevents them from being vaccinated, others may still be skeptical of getting the vaccine. Those who have been vaccinated may require a booster shot – therefore, you won’t know how well protected they are.
Reason 2: We don’t know how long the vaccine can protect us
Since the vaccines are rolling out quickly, there is no data on long-term protection. It can take months to years to fully comprehend the effectiveness of the vaccine in the long run.
Reason 3: We don’t know if the vaccine prevents a person from being a COVID-19 carrier
Vaccine trials test whether or not a vaccine protects a participant from contracting a specific disease, in this case COVID-19. However, these trials do not look at whether a person could still be infectious after receiving a vaccine.
Reason 4: People can be re-infected
We know that It is possible for some people to be re-infected with the virus. So, if you have ever tested positive, there is a chance you could contract the virus again. And you could possibly infect other people. You should still take the necessary precautions while research is into how strong vaccines are and how long their protection lasts are still going on.
Would you still need to wear a mask after getting the vaccine?
Yes. Take for example, the Sinopharm vaccine will only cause the vaccinated person to create antibodies after 35 days.
If a vaccinated person gets infected with COVID-19, his body’s immune system will start attacking the virus. Therefore, it is very important to prevent the virus from reaching your body in the first place. Wearing a mask and practicing social distancing does that.
Only time will tell when can we eradicate the virus in Bahrain and the world. Until then, we need everyone to keep following the precautions we have been sharing since the pandemic started. Until then, we mask on.