‘It ain’t over till it’s over’
Yankees legend Yogi Berra’s famous quote was about baseball, but the same could be said for the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccines won’t end the threat, at least not yet.
We saw a recent social media post from someone who contracted COVID-19 two days after getting vaccinated for the virus. What’s the point, they wondered, of getting vaccinated? Others ask why they must keep their distance and wear a mask if they’ve been fully vaccinated.
A couple of things to remember:
Immunity isn’t instant
When you’re injected with the vaccine, your body thinks it’s been invaded by a virus. It responds by producing antibodies — proteins that target, isolate and starve the foreign invaders, rendering them harmless. However, it takes a couple of weeks after your second dose to produce enough antibodies to effectively fight off COVID-19 and prevent future virus-caused illnesses.
The disease and the virus are different things
We know the vaccine protects us from getting the COVID-19 disease — fever, chills, breathing problems, fatigue and serious, life-threatening symptoms — caused by the virus. There is emerging evidence that indicates vaccines reduce transmission by 90 percent two weeks after the second dose.
Even if you’ve been vaccinated, there is a 5-10 percent chance that you could still get the disease. If you do, you will experience symptoms similar to a common cold, not the more severe forms of the disease. Vaccination protects you against the short- and long-term damage caused by the disease.
So there’s no question that the vaccine is a valuable weapon in our fight against COVID-19, but until enough people are armed — we need to slow the spread. Keep that mask on. Avoid large crowds and close contact. Wash your hands.
Because it ain’t over till it’s over.