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CORONAVIRUS

Will wearing a face mask be mandatory after the vaccine?

According to the most recent data, 98.2 million people have received their Covid-19 jab in the US. But will you still be required to wear a mask once vaccinated?

Update:
Will wearing a face mask be mandatory after the vaccine?
RICARDO ARDUENGOAFP

Little over a year since the first Coronavirus case was reported, over 335 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in more than 129 countries and territories worldwide. At the current rate, the global campaign is running at about 7.1 million doses per day with the United States’ vaccine rollout leading the way; according to the most recent data, 98,203,893 people have received their Covid-19 jab in the US. President Biden’s plan is to ensure that the vaccine is available to every adult in every US state by 1 May.

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When will all Americans be vaccinated by?

What type of vaccines are available in the US?

Three different Covid-19 vaccines have been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FGA) in the US – the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which is two shots, administered 21 days apart; the Moderna vaccine – also two shots but administered one month (28 days) apart; and the Johnson & Johnson / Janssen vaccine which is a one-shot viral vector vaccine. The FDA is also expected to authorise the AstraZeneca vaccine and later this month or in early April, once it has the results of Phase III trials. A fifth Covid-19 vaccine, developed by Novavax, is also currently in Phase III trials and close to regulatory approval.

The Biden administration has expanded its Covid-19 vaccination campaign by allowing dentists, veterinarians, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and medical students to administer vaccine shots to speed up the process.

So far, 33,83,127 people in the US (10.2% of the population) have been fully vaccinated with both shots while 64,071,674 people have received a single shot. Once you have been fully vaccinated, you will be able to do some of the things which were stopped during the pandemic. People are considered fully vaccinated:

  • Two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccine series (Pfizer or Moderna)
  • Two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson / Janssen or AstraZeneca).

However, according to the guidelines set out by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should still take precautions when out in public places. That includes wearing an FDA-regulated face mask (this includes cloth face coverings, surgical masks, and filtering facepiece respirators, such as N95 masks). There are seven NIOSH-approved respirators currently on the market – N95, Surgical N95, N99, N100, R95, P95, P99 and P100). You will also be advised to take other simple safety precautions when in public places – social distancing (six feet distance from others), avoiding crowds or poorly-ventilated places.

The CDC also urges those who are fully vaccinated not to visit anyone who is unvaccinated and might be at increased risk of severe illness or death from Covid-19 and to delay unnecessary domestic or international travel.

What you can do once fully vaccinated

On the plus side, you will be able to gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without the need to wear a mask. You will also be able to gather indoors with unvaccinated people from other households, without the need to wear a mask, as long as they are not at risk of severe illness from Covid-19.

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