Keep wearing your mask even after COVID-19 vaccination, doctors say

Problem Solvers

DENVER (KDVR) — In a social media post, Gov. Jared Polis reminded residents they still need to wear masks even after they are vaccinated.

The post says, “The new vaccines will help prevent you from getting sick with COVID-19. However, the research is still underway to determine if it will keep you from spreading the virus to others.”

The FOX31 Problem Solvers reached out to doctors at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital for further explanation.

Dr. Richard Zane, the chief of emergency medicine at UCHealth, said doctors know the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will make recipients about 95% resistant to the COVID illness.

“What we don’t know is whether you can still spread infection, or spread COVID to other people,” Dr. Zane said.

Dr. Zane explains that the vaccination will cause our bodies to make antibodies in the blood. But researchers don’t know how much protection is offered to the nose, mouth and throat.

“It is possible that, even though you’ve been fully vaccinated and are resistant to being infected and having severe disease, you could still have the COVID-19 in your nose and mouth and cough it onto other people,” Dr. Zane said.

He says the same is true for people who have recovered from COIVD and have some immunity.

“Those people, as well, are possibly spreaders,” Dr. Zane said.

Clinical trials for the vaccine are still ongoing, with researchers looking at this issue and still trying to determine how long the vaccine’s immunity will last.

Dr. Zane is scheduled to get his second dose of vaccine this week, but says he will not change his cautious behaviors, and neither should anyone else.

“I will continue to wear a mask, continue to physically distance, continue to wash my hands,” he said.

Dr. Jean Kutner, the chief medical officer at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, has the same message.

“I would say we are going to be wearing our masks at least into the summer,” Dr. Kutner said.

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