(WSYR-TV) — You are over 65 and have an appointment for a vaccine. You are probably already thinking about seeing your friends and your children. How will the COVID-19 vaccine change your life?
One of the nation’s most respected public health experts is weighing in.
When your friends get the vaccine can you see them without a mask indoors?
Dr. Lena Wen from Georgetown University said it’s probably pretty safe to see others who were also vaccinated, after everyone gets both doses and wait a few weeks.
At that point, you’d all be 95% protected against COVID-19. But, if you’re going to be with people who have not been vaccinated, you should still wear a mask.
That is because we do not know if the vaccine reduces transmission, so someone could pass the virus on to you and, even though you won’t get sick, you could give it to someone who isn’t vaccinated.
Can you see your grandchildren after receiving the second dose?
Wen said probably, but the same advice holds for being with anyone whose not been vaccinated.
If you want to hug your grandchildren, it is still best for everyone to wear masks.
If they don’t live locally, you could consider traveling to see your grandchildren. Of course, continue to abide by all social distancing and mask rules.
And know that you will have some risk of both acquiring the virus and transmitting it. Especially if your grandchildren live in a high-risk area for COVID-19.
Wen says getting the vaccine reduces your overall risk, but we won’t be able to get back to pre-pandemic life until 75% to 85% of Americans are vaccinated. That is what is known as herd immunity.