As an ED physician in the current COVID pandemic, we are told that once you are vaccinated you should continue to social distance and wear masks.
Even though we are told the present Pfizer and Moderna vaccines confer 95-97% immunity we should continue these measures as we may still be conduits to spread the virus to others not vaccinated.
At the same time, we are worried about changes in the virus such as the UK and South African strains, which may decrease our immunity and again make us susceptible to re-infection.
What we KNOW is that presently we are at least partially protected from infection from any strains if we have been vaccinated.
By preventing re-exposure to these strains now, we are insuring that eventually when our immunity wanes we will be susceptible to these re-infections.
Now is the time when we, who are vaccinated, and have adequate antibody levels to resist infection of the COVID-19, to not avoid but rather boost our response to new variants.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, I would encourage those with full vaccinations to go out without masks and social distancing to be exposed to the new variants while we have full or at least partial protection from our vaccine. Perhaps then we could avoid a resurgence of a new strain in the future.
– John V. Murray, MD FAAEM