‘It doesn’t mean you get immunity instantly’: Medical experts explain science of COVID-19 vaccines

'It doesn't mean you get immunity instantly': Medical experts explain science of vaccine

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Health experts say just because you have received one of the COVID-19 vaccines, doesn’t mean you can take your mask off. It will be months before enough people have received a vaccine that we can begin to relax the precautions the CDC advises.

Everybody is different, and that difference goes down to a molecular level, and that means that each of us react to the COVID-19 vaccination at a different pace.

“Each individual that actually receives the vaccination, whether it’s Pfizer or Moderna, has a different response to the vaccine,” Coastal Family Health Center nurse practitioner Felicia Sellers. “It will be based on each individual’s body and their chemistry and DNA. So even though you get the Moderna and you end up getting your second vaccination, it doesn’t mean you get immunity instantly.”

The CDC explains it typically takes a few weeks after vaccination for the body to produce the memory cells that trigger antibodies to be produced if you are exposed to the virus. Experts are still learning how long these memory cells protect a person against the virus that causes COVID-19.

“We’re rolling out this vaccine so we can get our high-risk population vaccinated, but as a people, we still need to do our part in making sure they stay safe and the rest of the community stay safe.” said Sellers.

In fact, the CDC warns that it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection.

“So as a community, we still have to take our precautions that is guided by the CDC that we continue to wear our mask, use universal precautions, be safe for one another.” said Sellers.

So even though this isn’t what you want to hear, keep your mask on until further notice. It will benefit us all in the long run.

“If we are responsible in doing what we should do, then we’ll be able to take this mask off,” said Dr. Belinda Alexander, from Memorial Hospital in Gulfport. “And we’ll be able to hug our loved ones without the fear of contracting something or passing along something that we don’t know we have.”

In Mississippi, 77,000 people have received their first vaccine and 8,600 of those have received a second vaccine.

Copyright 2021 WLOX. All rights reserved.