You Have To Wear A Mask Despite Vaccination, Know Why?
New Delhi: India may have approved two COVID-19 vaccines, you may get vaccinated too when your turn comes, but that doesn’t mean you can stop wearing a mask.
As a note of precaution, experts have cautioned that vaccination doesn’t guarantee 100 per cent protection from the viral disease. People must continue to wear masks to protect themselves from contracting the disease, India Today reported.
“It will require another 6-12 months before we can let our guards down completely. Although India is planning to start the vaccination drive soon, it would be only by early 2022 by when a majority of the population would be vaccinated. Till then, we have to be on our guards. Wearing masks, maintaining social distance and avoiding outdoor activities is still important,” Dr Bharesh Dedhia, critical care head, at Mumbai’s Hinduja Hospital was quoted as saying.
Stressing on the need to wear a mask, Dr Mala V Kaneria, consultant, infectious diseases, at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre said even a vaccinated person will still need to wear a mask because vaccines don’t offer 100 per cent protection, especially if the virus mutates, the report added.
“A person can get infected even after vaccination. Besides, vaccines take about a fortnight to develop antibodies. If the vaccinated person is exposed to the virus before that, they could get infected,” Dr Kaneria was quoted as saying.
Three reasons why people must continue to wear a mask even after vaccination
Dr Lancelot Pinto, consultant pulmonologist, at PD Hinduja Hospital and MRC was quoted as saying:
- The efficacy of the vaccine is not 100 per cent. In fact, the Oxford vaccine has an efficacy of about 70 per cent with two standard doses, and studies on Covaxin is still undergoing.
- Studies have been designed to look for Covid-19 disease, and not the infection. One could still theoretically get infected and not diseased despite being vaccinated. Such individuals could spread the infection. Wearing masks will prevent this spread.
- It will be an operational nightmare to police those who have been and have not been vaccinated and have a differential masking policy.
He said the published efficacy data of the Oxford vaccine with two full doses is not high, so a person can still get infected after vaccination.
“The hope is that once a significant proportion of the population is immune, either through vaccination or a past infection, the transmission of the virus will die down, resulting in a herd immunity,” he was quoted as saying.