Over the past few months, great strides have been made toward fighting the pandemic — namely when it comes to vaccinations. While it’s heartening to see that vaccination rates have been steadily rising, the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over yet. With new strains like the Delta variant (which now makes up the majority of new case diagnoses in the US) popping up, and increased infection rates among those who can’t or won’t get vaccinated, we still need to do our best to help protect ourselves, our families, and our communities from the effects of this virus.
For this reason, there are still a lot of benefits to wearing a mask even if you’re fully vaccinated. In fact, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently recommended that fully vaccinated people begin wearing masks indoors again in areas of high transmission to help curb the spread of the newer, more contagious strains of COVID-19.
Here are a few more benefits of wearing a face mask while fully vaccinated you should consider:
- No vaccine is 100% effective
- You can still transmit the virus
- Vaccines are not immediately effective
- Some public places still require masks
- We need to protect the immunocomrpomised
No Vaccine is 100% Effective Against COVID-19
Our current approved vaccines have been shown to be highly capable of preventing infections caused by the original COVID-19 strain, but no vaccine is 100% effective in preventing illness. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has a 95% efficacy in preventing COVID-19, while the Moderna vaccine has a 94.1% efficacy, and the Johnson & Johnson has a 72% overall efficacy and an 86% efficacy against severe disease.
While your vaccine acts as a sort of seat belt that keeps you protected for the most part, wearing a mask is like deploying your airbag — giving you even more safety and confidence as you’re out and about. And there is more than one benefit to masking up while vaccinated: Wearing a filtered face mask like our best-selling Enro options can give you an extra layer of protection, and can also encourage others in your community, including unvaccinated people, to wear theirs while out and about.
You Can Still Transmit the Virus
COVID-19 (especially the new variants) is a highly contagious virus, meaning that it can spread very easily from person to person. While a majority of new infections in the US are among unvaccinated people, “breakthrough” infections, which usually cause milder symptoms, can occur in those that got the shot. Early data has shown that the Delta variant can possibly be spread by vaccinated people, which is part of the reason why the CDC is now once again recommending that everyone wear masks while indoors.
Though unlikely, it is possible for you to pick up the virus from unvaccinated people, causing you to have a mild or asymptomatic “breakthrough” case that you could then spread to others if you don’t wear your mask. To be as safe and kind to your community as you can, it’s best to continue wearing your mask while out and about.
Vaccines Are Not Immediately Effective
Even if you’ve started the journey of getting your vaccine, no vaccine is immediately effective at preventing illness. Both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines require two doses to be effective, which means you are still at risk of getting the virus if you’ve only had your first dose. Even after your second dose, it takes time for your body to properly build antibodies to combat the virus, and you’re only considered to be one of the “fully vaccinated” once you’ve had your second dose for at least two weeks.
While you’re in the process of getting your vaccine, you should continue to wear a face mask to help protect yourself and others while your antibodies are still kicking in.
Some Public Places Are Still Requiring Masks
It’s true that many spots have dropped their mask requirements for the vaccinated population, but there are still some public places that require masks. You should keep your mask handy if you plan on visiting any of these places, so you don’t interrupt your plans by having to run home and grab one, if needed.
We Need to Protect the ImmunocompromisedOne of the most important functions of face masks is and always has been to protect those who are immunocompromised from potentially getting the virus. Vaccines are often less effective for older people and for those struggling with weakened immune systems. For this reason, we should continue to wear our masks to help prevent them from getting sick.
Also, while there are some that choose not to get the vaccine, others simply can’t. At this point, children aren’t yet authorized to be vaccinated, and cases among children are on the rise. Additionally, some conditions prevent people from being able to get their shot, which means they are relying on everyone else to get theirs to build a herd immunity against the virus. Keep this in mind while you’re out and about, or if you’re planning on visiting a friend or loved one who may be immunocompromised.
Masks Can Protect Against Any Variant
New strains of COVID-19, like the highly transmissible delta variant, are constantly mutating and circulating through our communities. While the effectiveness of our current vaccines against these mutated variants is still being studied, filtered face masks will continue to help protect you against these viruses, no matter which version it is.
Give yourself more comfort and confidence while out by wearing a mask that offers protection, like our Enro reusable face masks that include an impressive, built-in PM0.1 filter.
Getting your vaccine is a huge step in the right direction toward helping to fight this pandemic and bring it to an end, but there are still benefits to wearing your mask that can assist further in curbing infections in yourself and others. Whether you want to keep an immunocompromised friend safe, are worried about the new variants, or simply feel more comfortable wearing your mask, make sure you’re equipped with the best option out there.
Crafted with ultra-light, ultra-breathable fabrics and a built-in PM0.1 filter, Enro face masks offer the perfect balance between comfort and safety. Our best-selling masks are even rated as the #1 option by the New York Times’ Wirecutter.