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National News | Statewide News | 01/25/21

Why Layers of Protection Matter

VGA & the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

This article is adapted from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s article, “Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination.”

Even after you’re vaccinated, it’s important to keep wearing a mask, social distancing and washing your hands. Below, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) answers some of the most frequently asked questions about what people should do before, during and after receiving the vaccine:

What can I do to protect myself from getting COVID-19 before a vaccine is available for me?

To protect yourself, follow these recommendations:

  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others
  • Avoid crowds
  • Avoid poorly ventilated spaces
  • Wash your hands often

Get more information about these and other steps you can take to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Do I need to wear a mask and avoid close contact with others if I have received 2 doses of the vaccine?

Yes. Not enough information is currently available to say if or when CDC will stop recommending that people wear masks and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide in real-world conditions before making that decision. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision. We also don’t yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself. CDC will continue to update this page as we learn more.

While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic.

To protect yourself and others, follow these recommendations:

  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others
  • Avoid crowds
  • Avoid poorly ventilated spaces
  • Wash your hands often

Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.

What percentage of the population needs to get vaccinated to have herd immunity to COVID-19?

Experts do not yet know what percentage of people would need to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19. Herd immunity means that enough people in a community are protected from getting a disease because they’ve already had the disease or they’ve been vaccinated. Herd immunity makes it hard for the disease to spread from person to person, and it even protects those who cannot be vaccinated, like newborns. The percentage of people who need to have protection in order to achieve herd immunity varies by disease. CDC and other experts are studying herd immunity and will provide more information as it is available.