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Hope is on the horizon, but you still need to wear a mask.

We talked to UNC Health infectious disease expert Cynthia Gay, MD, MPH, who leads the Moderna clinical trial at UNC, about what you should do before and after you get the COVID-19 vaccines.

What to Do While You’re Waiting for the COVID-19 Vaccines

Vaccines are one important tool in our toolkit to fight COVID-19, but we still need to use all of our tools if we hope to end this pandemic. This means it’s still important to adhere to the following safety measures:

  • Wear a mask.
  • Stay 6 feet apart from others whenever possible.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.

“We know that these things are effective,” Dr. Gay says. “We need to take the same precautions we’ve been taking because we know they work.”

What You Should Do After You Receive the COVID-19 Vaccines

It takes time for your body to build up protections against COVID-19 after your vaccine. If you get a two-dose vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna), you are considered to be fully protected from COVID two weeks after your second dose. If you get a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson), you are considered fully protected two weeks after your vaccine.  The CDC has issued guidance for what people who are fully vaccinated can do. In general, fully vaccinated people can be indoors and outside without a mask, if they choose, except in certain places such as healthcare, childcare, and correctional facilities.

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