A look at masks and being vaccinated during the pandemic

Reporter: Taylor Wirtz
Published: Updated:
A woman receives the COVID-19 vaccine during the pandemic in 2021. Credit: WINK News.

As more people get vaccinated, more people will take off their masks.

But Dr. Anthony Fauci says we still need to wear them even after the shot. Fauci admits the risk is much less once someone’s fully vaccinated, but he says it’s still present. With the threat of new variants spreading, he believes that’s reason enough to mask up for a little while longer.

More than 8.1 million Floridians have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

The next big question for experts is what happens after someone is fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

“When you get vaccinated, you are clearly diminishing dramatically your risk of getting infected,” Fauci said publicly.

But Fauci said a full-vaccinated person could still contract COVID-19 or cause spread to someone more vulnerable, so he believes vaccinated people should still wear a mask.

“If you don’t have a mask, you might inadvertently infect them,” Fauci said. “Now, there’s a small risk of that, but it’s there.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis calls that advice horrific. He wondered, while speaking publicly, why anyone would trust the vaccine if there’s no payoff.

“My view is, if you get a vaccine, the vaccines are effective; you’re immune,” DeSantis said. “And so act immune. If you tell people the opposite then, ‘Gee, why if it’s not effective for them and it’s not going to change anything, then, what’s the point of going through it.”

We asked community members of Southwest Florida if they agreed with the governor’s public statements.

“Why would I get a vaccine if I have to do exactly what everybody else is doing?” Rebekah King said.

“I feel more confident, since I got both my shots,” Joh Moran said. “But I guess we have to worry about other people.”

Dr. Rebekah Bernard, with Gulf Coast Direct Primary Care, told us, if everyone in a group has been vaccinated, then by all means, remove the masks.

“If I’m out and about in public, and I’m in an area where I don’t know if everyone has been protected, then, I’m going to go ahead and wear a mask,” Bernard explained.

Fauci does believe, when we learn more about the vaccine’s effectiveness against the variants and as more people get the shot, the CDC will loosen its guidelines on wearing a mask after being vaccinated.

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