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Millions of Americans are anticipating the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine. But, once vaccinated, can you throw all the masks away and stop wearing them?

In a nutshell — no.

Per the Las Vegas Sun, there are a couple of reasons for this.

One, when you get a vaccine, it’s done in two separate shots. For Pfizer’s vaccine, the second dose is administered three weeks after the first. For Moderna, it comes about four weeks later. Also, the effects of the vaccine aren’t immediate.

The outlet states, “People are expected to get some level of protection within a couple of weeks after the first shot. But full protection may not happen until a couple weeks after the second shot.”

Experts also say that just because someone has a shot, they still don’t know if the vaccines will protect people from the virus entirely or only from the virus’s symptoms. If it protects you from just symptoms, that means that you can still give it to others.

Also, even if you do get a vaccine, masks and social distancing could be the norm for a long time. One reason is that it will take months for every person to get the shot. Also, children won’t get shots any time soon because testing is just beginning for them.

America most likely won’t reach herd immunity until the summer. And the Las Vegas Sun lastly states, “That’s assuming there are no problems meeting manufacturers’ supply estimates, and enough people step forward to be vaccinated.”

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