If you’re one of the lucky ones out there who has already received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, you may be wondering what social liberties are now at your disposal. However, just because you’ve been inoculated doesn’t mean you can tear back out into the wild, living carefree. Here are some answers to the questions you may have for life after vaccination:

No vaccine is 100% effective. In fact, the best of the coronavirus vaccines are only about 95% effective after you have been fully immunized. A 5% chance of getting the virus may seem small but it still puts you at risk or carrying or transmitting the virus.

Unique people means unique responses. Some people’s immune systems will have a better response than others to the vaccine. That is why health experts are pushing for the public to receive the second dose of the vaccine within a specific time frame. It takes time for your immunity to kick in, so just because you’ve had the first dose, does not mean you are in the clear.

Does the immunity last? At this point, the timeline for how long the immunity will last is unknown. It could very well be that the booster doses could be needed in the years ahead, which is not uncommon when it comes to vaccines. 

Do I still need to wear a mask? The short answer is yes. Until there is more data available, continue to stay safe and protect yourself and others by wearing a mask. Consider it your new best friend, particularly out in public places.

Can I see family and friends? While that depends on everyone’s vaccine status, the risk of hanging out with others is greatly reduced when everyone in the group has been vaccinated. Particularly if the gathering is also outside. However, if the visit is indoors, there is still a considerable level of risk. If you are going to gather indoors with family or friends, the safest way to do so would be for everyone to quarantine for at least 10 days beforehand.

Lastly…

Is it safe to travel? According to Dr. Fauci, “Getting vaccinated does not say now I have a free pass to travel.” Stay responsible, protect others, and stay at home.