Doctors urge fully vaccinated people to continue practicing COVID-19 safety measures

VIDEO: When can I stop wearing a mask or spend more time with loved ones? Those are the questions doctors say they’re getting most often as more people getting COVID-19 shots.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When can I stop wearing a mask or spend more time with loved ones? Those are the questions doctors say they’re getting most often as more people are getting COVID-19 shots.

Those questions were also raised over the weekend when the former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said that more and more evidence indicates the COVID-19 vaccine is also preventing transmission of infection. The statement could send a mixed message to some people that they don’t still need to practice COVID-19 safety measures if they’re vaccinated. But most doctors agree we’re not there yet.

Epidemiologist Dr. Jonathan Kantor told News4Jax he got a lot of phone calls over the weekend.

“They said, ‘Well, can I now hug and kiss my grandkids and not worry about giving it to them?’” Kantor said. “So there is so much concern about that.”

Right now, it’s not 100% clear if the vaccine will keep others from contracting the virus from someone who’s vaccinated. They might be asymptomatic, but they could still get someone else sick.

“If you are a nice person and you got vaccinated, then you are worried not only about am I going to get infected with COVID-19, and you’re not only saying, yay, I’m less likely of getting severe COVID-19, it’s almost impossible for me to get hospitalized if I’m vaccinated, you’re also worried about, wait a minute, what are my chances of spreading COVID-19 to somebody else?” Kantor said.

Kantor says we might be close to getting the answer, but we just don’t know yet.

“Keep in mind that those clinical trials were not designed to test if the virus is transmissible,” he said. “It was designed to test if you’re getting COVID-19 clinically.”

As this is debated, most public health experts have said fully vaccinated persons should continue to wear masks, employ social distancing and continue practicing other public health measures because there had been no evidence the vaccine would prevent transmission as well as infection.


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