Why Getting Vaccinated Doesn't Mean You Should Toss Out the Mask — Yet

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We've been living with COVID-19 precautions like mask-wearing and social distancing for over a year. Now, at last, like a ray of light at the end of a dark tunnel, the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is offering some hope of things "returning to normal" in the United States. As of May 13th, the CDC stated that if one has been fully vaccinated and waited two weeks, they may resume all activities that one did prior to the pandemic without a mask. Vaccinated people may also interact with one another without social distancing procedures, unless if a business, city or state still has mandates or guidelines in place.

This is a moment that a lot of people have been waiting for, but we aren’t home free just yet. As of early July, 67.1% of Americans have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In order to reach herd immunity, experts believe that there needs to a vaccination rate closer to 90% or higher to reach herd immunity. 

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. The Pfizer vaccine was approved for distribution in 12-15 year olds, and the company is testing the vaccine on the 2–11 age bracket. Until we get closer to reaching herd immunity, however, and until it's safe for even more age groups to receive these vaccines, it’s important to follow mandates and guidelines set by your state and local officials and the businesses you support during this transitional period. While this news is thrilling, you'll want to hold onto your mask a little bit longer. Here's why.