COVID Vaccines: Are we being too careless?

Since December, the U.S has been giving the COVID-19 vaccine. While it began with senior citizens, in the state of Ohio, now anyone over the age of 16 can get the vaccine.

While guidelines state that you should still continue to social distance and wear your mask in public, mainly for the benefit of others, some people are beginning to have the attitude of “I got the vaccine, why do I still need to wear a mask?” “We’re still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions in public places like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces until we know more,” says the CDC.

Those with the vaccine are less susceptible to the virus and will also not get as sick if they contract it, however, they can still carry the virus and transmit it to other people, even if those chances are low. “A vaccinated person controls the virus better, so the chances of transmitting will be greatly reduced,” said Dr. Robert Gallo, a virus expert at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, to the AP and Click on Detroit.
Hancock County has recently breached 1 million COVID-19 cases, making the county the number one for Covid cases in Ohio. Could the recent rise in cases be linked to the vaccinations and the general population’s belief that once they get the vaccine, they’re home free and safe from transmission and catching of the virus? “As states lift restrictions and worrisome coronavirus variants spread, scientists and federal health officials have been warning that a new wave of cases could arise in the United States even as the nation’s vaccination campaign gathers speed. The seeds of such a surge may now be sprouting in the Upper Midwest and the Northeast,” says the New York Times.

With the chance of new strains of Covid emerging and being immune or uncovered by the vaccines, there’s a chance that if a person gets vaccinated, a new variant of the virus could still be caught.

In New York, cases were surging after the first rounds of the vaccine and the conclusion was that the reason for this was because younger people, who were the core group of those getting sick, were not eligible for vaccination yet.

“People under 60 are accounting for the majority of new COVID-19 cases across the country — likely a testament to the success of the vaccines that have been administered to primarily older, more vulnerable Americans,” says NBC News.

In Texas, all restrictions, including mask mandates, were lifted, despite the need for masks to still be worn and social distancing to still be followed now that we have the vaccine.

“Even in states where the virus appeared far from under control, officials have proceeded to lift restrictions on businesses, and companies have pushed for reopenings. New York has more recent cases per capita than everywhere except New Jersey, and the New York City metro area has the country’s second-highest rate of new infections, behind only Idaho Falls, Idaho. On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that indoor fitness classes may resume on March 22,” says the New York Times.

We are getting rid of restrictions, disregarding case numbers, and continuing to act carelessly. The pandemic isn’t going to go away if we can’t act responsibly and follow the guidelines, even after being vaccinated.

A vaccine doesn’t mean it’s all over.