UVA Health doctor explains what happens after receiving doses of COVID vaccine

UVA Health doctor explains what happens after receiving doses of COVID vaccine
FILE (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - There are many reasons to breathe a sigh of relief after you get your second COVID-19 vaccination, but a UVA Health doctor says life will not return back to normal immediately after receiving both doses.

“Once we’ve seen the vaccine behave in the real world conditions, we’ll get a better sense of can it prevent you from getting infected and can it prevent you from spreading if you were to get infected. We still need to learn a little more about that,” Dr. Taison Bell, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Virginia, said.

After you get both doses of protection, many are wondering what they can do and where they can go after receiving their second shot.

“In my household we haven’t’ changed anything about what we’ve been doing after I’ve been vaccinated compared to what we’ve been doing before. I still don’t have visitors over, we still don’t go out unless we have to wear a mask 100% of the time when we go outside the house,” Bell said.

Bell says we need to understand how the vaccine works in the body overtime before returning back to normal.

“What we do know is if you were to get infected with COVID-19, your chances of being very sick with it, going to the hospital are very low. It was very protective against symptomatic severe COVID-19,” Bell said. “I think one thing that we have to keep in mind is that there’s still a possibility that we can pass infection onto others.”

That’s why Bell says social distancing and mask wearing will all be essential even after getting both shots.

“Once we see cases go down, we start to open up the economy more, and go back to normal activities and we don’t see those cases go up again, that’s when we’ll kind of know that we’ve hit the bar as far as herd immunity,” Bell said.

As vaccinations ramp up, Bell wants to keep vaccine equity at the forefront of our minds.

“It has been very difficult to get vaccines to areas that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 and the logistics have made that difficult as well too. We absolutely have to know who’s getting vaccinated, and know demographic information, race, ethnicity, and we have to make sure we’re working very hard to bring the burden off of people signing up and bringing vaccines to them,” Bell said.

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