I Got the Vaccine - What Now?
Eventually in the next few months, as the Covid-19 vaccine is in the arms and not the syringe, millions of people will be asking this question; "Now what?" Getting the vaccine brings a sigh of relief and giddy joy to the people who have received both shots. And it is certainly critical for halting this terrible pandemic. But, unfortunately, we cannot go back to "pre-covid" life yet.
Even though the vaccine is quite effective (75-95%), there is still that window when infection could occur. Even more worrisome are the variants (mutations) that are occurring around the world as the infection continues. The more the virus is in the community (and this means the World Community, not just your neighborhood), the more natural mutations occur and this leads to variants that may not be fully covered by the vaccines. The new Johnson and Johnson vaccine that only requires one shot will be a welcome addition to the world, but it is only about 57% active against the South Africa strain of Covid.
Experts believe booster shots will be needed in time. These are rapidly being developed now so the news is good. The way to keep these variants in check is to speed up vaccination distribution.
Getting the vaccine should protect you from contracting symptomatic Covid. It's looking like the immunity lasts for many months and even over a year. Time will give us this answer. But because it is not 100%, because we don't have all the answers, because the variants continue to emerge, we can't yet return to pre-covid behavior. We can't freely travel or converge with others until this virus really stops spreading world-wide. But for older people who are vaccinated and have been 100% homebound, you can probably venture out and see family members now. In my opinion, the benefits of social interaction and seeing grandchildren out-weigh the small danger of catching Covid.
If you have had the Covid-19 Vaccine, you still need to follow the 3 W's.
Things that are not needed: temperature checks, washing down groceries or other items, wearing gloves inside or outside (unless you are cold).