More than 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Arkansas so far. The vaccine will help us get back to work and play, while keeping us safe.
But you might be wondering what the vaccine means in your daily life.
You should still wear your mask
The COVID-19 vaccines are still new, and there are still some things we don’t know. Researchers tested the vaccines for efficacy — that is, do they keep vaccinated people from getting sick?
The answer is yes, most people who receive the vaccines are protected from catching the virus and getting sick. 90 to 95% of vaccinated people will not get sick from COVID-19.
However, there is another question that hasn’t been answered. If vaccinated people are exposed to the virus, can they carry that virus to others?
If you receive the vaccine and are then exposed to the virus, you could have the virus in your nose. It won’t make you sick. If you interact with other people without wearing a mask, though, it is possible that you could spread the virus.
Further research should tell us whether vaccinated people can still spread the virus to unvaccinated people. Until we know, you should continue to wear a mask and maintain social distancing, even after you have your vaccine.
What activities are safe?
Many people, including health care workers, educators, factory workers, and retail workers, have to take some risks because of their work. Once these people receive vaccines, they will be safer as they go about their work activities.
Once you’ve received your vaccine, you can feel better about being out and about with your mask and social distancing. If you’ve avoided seeing family members, you can feel more comfortable about spending time with grandchildren or visiting relatives while continuing precautions.
This is still not the time to attend large indoor gatherings.
As a nation, we still have a long way to go. Vaccinated people are in a safer position than unvaccinated people, but continuing to avoid high-risk activities will help keep the community safe.