As the promise of a COVID-19 vaccine is fulfilled amid the rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the need to continue wearing masks, washing your hands and maintaining social distancing remains mission critical to protecting lives.
Public health measures have been the main tools at preventing infection and transmission of the virus. Wearing a face mask can reduce an individual’s risk of infection by 70%. With emergency use authorization of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, there is an opportunity to further decrease the risk of illness due to COVID-19.
However, vaccines may give people a false sense of security that masks are no longer needed. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Vaccination teaches the body how to successfully fight a virus without actually getting sick. This is in contrast to public health measures, which rely on decreasing exposure to the virus. To effectively contain this pandemic, reducing exposure to the virus and supporting vaccination campaigns must continue.
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