Fully-vaccinated people urged to maintain precautions, but why?

Posted at 7:51 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 19:51:52-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The line outside Detroit's TCF Center is filled with people who say they'll continue to practice safety precautions after they've been vaccinated.

Josh Petrie is a research assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health. He says the vaccines' reported level of effectiveness shouldn't instill a false sense of security. So masking up, social distancing, and frequent handwashing are still encouraged.

Petrie says it's not logistically possible to create different policies for those who've been vaccinated versus the rest of the population.

“The bigger point is we don’t know much at all about what happens if you’re (vaccinated and then exposed to the virus) can you still have virus that you’re shedding and potentially being able to infect others," Petrie said.

So when it comes to vaccinated people hanging around potentially non-vaccinated people, Petrie says two factors will determine when they can let their guards down.

First, state health officials set a target for at least 80% of Michigan residents over the age of 16 to get the vaccine.

The other factor, which Petrie says is vital, is monitoring the infection rates.

“Because we still do have concerning levels of cases out in the community. We're not at a point yet where we can stop masks and social distancing in general,” Petrie said.

A representative with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the CDC is working on releasing post-vaccination guidance.

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