Corona vaccination: what vaccinated people can and can’t do again

What people vaccinated against Covid-19 can do again in everyday life – and what not

  • It’s currently unknown whether the Corona vaccine will protect against transmission to those not yet vaccinated. So it remains important to continue to implement measures against the spread of Covid-19.
  • Plus, the vaccine doesn’t protect you from the second you get vaccinated. And: It is possible that the vaccine will not protect a very small part of humanity.
  • Vaccinated people can still start planning for their 2021 and be prepared to gradually return to normalcy.
  • You can find more articles on Business Insider here

The time has now also come in Germany: on Sunday, 27. December, it has gone off with the vaccinations against Covid-19. It will probably be a while before people under 40 are vaccinated, because people over 80, as well as caregivers and especially vulnerable hospital staff, will be immunized first. In mid-2021, he said yesterday, German Health Minister Jens Spahn then plans to offer it to all people who want to be vaccinated.

But: just because someone has been vaccinated doesn’t mean he or she can immediately resume living their life the way they did before Corona – at least not for now, says Debra Goff, a pharmacist at Ohio State University. "I think a lot of people think that once they’re vaccinated, they’re going to be completely safe. That they will no longer have to wear masks and keep their distance. But that is not the reality," explains Goff.

Because it’s going to take time to know how well the vaccine protects against transmission. And for even longer, until there may be the much-touted herd immunity in the general population. "A vaccine is the first step in getting back to normal," Goff says. "But it is not the end."

Here’s why you’ll learn what you can – and can’t – do after getting the Covid-19 vaccine again.

You can start making careful plans for the future

Experts have predicted that partial normalcy could return in the spring of 2021. Once you are vaccinated, you can handle the situation a little more confidently. You can plan a short trip for May, for example, or plan next Christmas to be like 2019 again. Life will not return to 100 percent normal until global herd immunity is achieved, according to a podcast by U.S. immunologist Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates.

"If the disease still exists somewhere in the world, it is not certain that large events or celebrations can take place again as before. The risk of re-infection would remain," Gates explains there.

You should continue to wear a mask and keep your distance

We don’t know for sure at this point whether the vaccine will protect against asymptomatic disease progression. Because then there could still be what are called "silent carriers.". All we know is that the Biontech/Pfizer and Moderna vaccines protect against disease progression with symptoms. "We need to continue to wear a mask" and keep our distance, Goff makes clear.

Another reason is that it takes ten to twelve days for the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to take effect. And even then, it’s only 52 percent effective. Only after the second dose the vaccine reaches its effectiveness of 95 percent. That also means the vaccine is not 100 percent effective. So, for now, there is still the – albeit small – chance of contracting Covid-19 despite vaccination.

You can support friends who are affected by Covid-19

The reason healthcare workers are among the first to be vaccinated is primarily this: they can continue to care for Covid patients while being protected. If you are vaccinated, the same applies to you. If someone in your environment gets sick with Covid-19, you can support him or her: cook for the person, take fever or just be there and spend time together.

You cannot celebrate as usual

Currently, meetings with strangers would still bring a high risk, even if you are already vaccinated. Because you could still be infected without symptoms and pass the virus on to unvaccinated people. Such events could become safer as it is discovered how a vaccine also protects against transmission. "We already know much more than we did in January. We are learning every day," says Goff. "We’re almost there, but we haven’t crossed the finish line yet."

You can be more relieved

Once you and everyone around you have received both doses of the vaccine and about two weeks have passed, you can relax more. You no longer have to question every little gathering about how safe it is and who met with whom. It is likely that masks will slowly disappear again over time. Goff, however, says masks are now more socially acceptable and may be worn more often for other diseases as well. "It’s a good thing," she says.

This text was translated from English by Siw Inken Forke. You can find the original here.

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