“I don’t wear a mask to hang out with other vaccinated people,” said Dr Ashish K. Jha, Dean of Brown University School of Public Health. ” I do not even think about it. I go to the office with a bunch of people, and they’re all vaccinated. I don’t care.
But once you start to venture into enclosed public spaces where the chances of encountering unvaccinated people are greater, a mask is probably a good idea. Being fully vaccinated remains the strongest protection against Covid-19, but the risk is cumulative. The more opportunities you give the virus to challenge the antibodies you have accumulated from your vaccine, the higher your risk of coming into contact with exposure large enough for the virus to cross the protective barrier generated by your vaccine.
For this reason, the case rate and vaccination rate in your community are among the highest. the most important factors influencing the need for masks. In Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, for example, more than 70 percent of adults are fully immunized. In Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, less than 45% of adults are vaccinated. In some countries, overall immunization rates are much lower.
“We are currently two Covid nations,” said Dr Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital. In Harris County, Texas, where Dr Hotez lives, the number of cases has increased, 116% in the past two weeks, and only 44% of the community is fully vaccinated. “I wear a mask indoors most of the time,” Dr. Hotez said.
Finally, masking is more important in poorly ventilated indoor spaces than outdoors, where the risk of infection is extremely low. Dr Jha notes that he recently rushed to a cafe, without a mask, because in his part of the country infection rates are low and vaccination rates are high, and only a few were left there. minutes.