TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Now that more people have had COVID vaccinations, it’s natural for them to ask when their lives can get back to something like normal. Doctor Gregory Poland is with the Mayo Clinic’s original location in Minnesota, but Mayo also has extensive facilities in Arizona.
He says if you’ve had your vaccinations, it’s not like flipping a switch that brings your life back -- it’s a gradual process that still requires you to consider each situation you’re in.
First of all, with any of the COVID vaccines, he defines fully vaccinated as 14 days after your last shot. Then you need to consider who you’re with.
Is it a small gathering of adults where everyone’s been vaccinated? Then it’s OK to drop the masks.
“Now what if my wife and I are immunized? But Ginger is not immunized? Could we have her to our home? And would she have to wear a mask? No, she wouldn't have to,” Dr. Poland said.
But he says if your un-immunized friend has other illnesses or a weak immune system, everyone should stay masked up.
He says the assumption is immunized people are less likely to spread the virus but there’s no data on that so it may still be possible for vaccinated people to move and spread COVID even if they’re protected from symptoms themselves.
“Let's say my wife and I, as grandparents, wanted to fly down to see my son, daughter in law and grandchild," Dr. Poland said. "None of the three of them would have to be immunized for us to go and visit with them and not wear masks, we could be in their home.”
But he says you should mask up if you add people from outside a tight family group or if anyone in your family has a risk factor.
Dr. Poland says a lot of this depends on whether people are willing to let you know about their medical conditions and he says with the vaccines so new, one of the biggest unknowns is how long vaccine protection will last.