How long does immunity last, and why do experts insist that people should continue wearing masks?
the story So Far: More than 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in India so far. However, as vaccination campaigns gain momentum, questions about appropriate behavior begin to arise after vaccination. In the United States, last week, Texas lifted its mask mandate and removed all other COVID-19-related restrictions. In India, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday that six states – Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi – are reporting an increase in new cases. Health officials said the increase in the number of cases in the states could be due to negligence in relation to the established COVID-19 protocol.
Can the mask come off?
Whether it is okay to lose the mask or not is a question some people are asking; Others believe in shedding their masks, after two, or even just one shot of the vaccine. However, not wearing a mask would be a bad idea, experts say. At various locations, transition groups have been reported to be associated with people who attend mass events, such as marriage ceremonies, without wearing masks or maintaining physical distance.
Health Secretary of Tamil Nadu, J. Radhakrishnan is spearheading efforts to increase the slowly growing COVID-19 graph in the state. “Not wearing a mask will be no less than a criminal. As in the case of Maharashtra, we have identified family groups of COVID-19 cases in some cities here. In most instances, this is caused by attending weddings or other family gatherings and not wearing masks or being in close proximity with others. We are affirming the ultimate need to continue wearing masks. Even a vaccine is a secondary tool for us, many have not received it yet, but everyone can wear a mask and be safe, ”he said.
What does vaccination really mean?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), being fully vaccinated means a period of two weeks or more after the receipt of a second dose in a series of two doses, or two weeks or more after receipt of a single. Dose vaccine. In India, currently, both vaccines being used – covishield and covaxin – follow a two-dose diet. Typically, the immune response takes a short time to form after the vaccine shot.
In an episode of Science in 5, Catherine O’Brien of the World Health Organization (WHO), said that after the first dose of the two-dose vaccine, a good immune response is over within about two weeks. This is the second dose that enhances the immune response “and we see that the immunity becomes stronger even after the second dose”. But it is still unclear how long the vaccine remains immune to the arm. She stated that whether or not the immune response is sustainable, how it performs with the passage of time, and how long it lasts can only be detected by monitoring those who have already been vaccinated over a period is. While clinical trials have shown that vaccines protect people from the disease, it is unclear whether they prevent them from taking an acute form of infection or disease, or if vaccinated viruses can infect others. If the vaccinated person is still carrying the virus, the vaccine may provide immunity to him or her from a serious illness, but the person can still transmit the virus to someone who is not yet vaccinated, and Therefore, unsafe.
“The protective levels of antibodies usually develop two weeks after receiving the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine,” the FAQ document from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on the vaccine states.
In a tweet, United States White House adviser and top infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci said, “We do not currently have enough data to say that vaccines can prevent transmission. Therefore, even if vaccinated Yes, you may be able to spread the virus to vulnerable people. “
What changes occur after taking a vaccine shot?
“After vaccination, COVID-19 dramatically reduces the risk of serious illness. Once 70–80% of the population is vaccinated, many existing restrictions may be lifted, ”Priya Sampatakumar, Infectious Disease Advisor and Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control, Mayo Institute, US, however, worries about vaccinators People can get asymptomatic COVID-19 and pass it on to others. He said, “So, unless a large part of the population gets vaccinated, please wear masks to protect others.”
The website also highlights the need to continue with the CDC mask: “Available COVID-19 vaccines have demonstrated high efficacy to prevent severe and / or symptomatic COVID-19, currently limited information on this Is how much vaccines can reduce transmission and how long it lasts. Furthermore, the efficacy of vaccines against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants is not known. At this time, vaccinated people should continue to follow Current guidance To protect ourselves and others, including wearing masks, staying at least six feet away from others, avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly ventilated places, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands frequently… ”
Dr. O’Brien explained in this episode that while we are still learning about what vaccines can do, many countries have out-of-control transmissions.
There is not yet sufficient evidence of a vaccine response for some age groups, and the vaccines are in short supply in the community. Therefore, it is necessary to follow the COVID-19 protocol, she said.
Dr. Sampatkumar recently dealt with another question in a Twitter thread – what if everyone in a small family or social group gets vaccinated? “In a small group in which everyone has been vaccinated, it is okay to get without a mask. Risk is low. In the work setting, masks are recommended to confirm vaccination and the health status of colleagues is difficult.
He said that if they have been fully vaccinated then one can visit a fully vaccinated family member. However, traveling independently may not be safe yet. “In addition, a lot depends on what we learn about the vaccine’s ability to prevent asymptomatic infection and remain effective against COVID-19 variants,” she said. However, if you have been fully vaccinated, according to the recommended dosage, you can safely go to the restaurant to eat indoors, and the risk will be very low.
The CDC urges that even fully vaccinated people who are exposed to COVID-19, but should not see symptoms until 14 days after exposure. If they experience symptoms, they should be evaluated clinically for COVID-19, including the SARS-CoV-2 test, if indicated.
How long should we keep following the security protocol?
“Time is going to tell. Once we get comprehensive vaccination coverage… we can slowly start to get our feet off the pedal, ”said Dr. O’Brien. Meanwhile, with cases increasing in India, states are scrambling to strengthen the COVID-19 protocol, impose penalties for violations, and reintroduce a diluted version of the sanctions. After a year-long campaign and the exhaustion of the epidemic among the people, the rules were gradually relaxed, ignoring security measures. However, until evidence is found that vaccination inhibits transmission, or until herd immunity is achieved with a combination of vaccination and natural immunity from infection, it is clear that the mask is up or other protection It is dangerous to give measures. To do this, the cycle of transmission of the virus in the community has to be kept alive.