We are seeing light at the end of the tunnel with COVID-19 vaccinations rolling out for distribution. But safety precautions like wearing masks still need to be practiced to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Liver disease patients and those with compromised immune systems should be vaccinated as soon as possible due to the high risk of contracting the virus and developing severe complications.

How the Vaccine Works (Vaccine Facts)

The vaccine is made with mRNA technology. This technology has been in the works for a while. In fact, it’s very similar to how the cure for hepatitis C with new direct-acting antivirals came about.

Dr. Allison Liddell M.D.  Infectious Disease specialist with Texas Health explains it simply, “The mRNA molecule we have in our bodies is like a recipe that tells our body how to make the proteins that we need. The vaccine tells your protein factories (your ribosomes) how to make the protein so your immune system can react against it. This is not a live vaccine, which makes it safer than other vaccines in the past.”

How Effective are the COVID-19 Vaccines?

John Hopkins Medicine reports, “Both Pfizer and Moderna report that their vaccines show approximately 95% efficacy at preventing both mild and severe symptoms of COVID-19.”

Why Masks Are Necessary After Vaccination

Dr. Liddell states, “If you get this vaccine, you are very unlikely to develop severe COVID, but you can still potentially get COVID, and that important to know. The vaccine may not prevent mild asymptomatic infections, so it’s important to keep masking and social distancing so you don’t inadvertently give the virus to an unvaccinated friend or family member.”

It is important to note if you have been vaccinated, there is a very low chance of less than 5 percent that you could contract COVID, versus a greater percentage of getting COVID and have complications without the vaccine.

It takes approximately 7 to 14 days after vaccination before the vaccine becomes fully effective in your body. Do not stop practicing safety precautions like wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing, etc. It’s important to remember, safety precautions plus being vaccinated give you higher protection from contracting Covid and transmitting it to others.

What Safety Precautions Are Still Necessary After Vaccination

Follow these proactive safety steps even after vaccination,

  • Wear masks
  • Practice Social Distancing
  • Avoid crowds
  • Wash hands often
  • Use hand sanitizer often
  • Use a tissue or your sleeve if you have to sneeze or cough
  • Avoid shaking hands or hugging (for now). Give a heartedly greeting instead
  • Stay home if you have a fever, coughing, congestion, headache, or feel unwell in any way
  • Stay safe, be patient, and be encouraged. We’re heading in the right direction so that we can return to normal safely

Once there is herd immunity with the majority of people vaccinated, we will be able to get back to normal but until then, stay the course so that we can all finish well and healthy.

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This entry was originally published on Life Beyond Hepatitis C on March 3, 2021 and is reprinted with permission.