Yes, it is important for everyone to continue to practice public health measures even after they have been vaccinated. This includes:
- covering your mouth and nose with a mask;
- covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve;
- washing hands often and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth;
- staying at least two metres (six feet) away from others outside of your household;
- self-isolating when sick; and
- following all Provincial orders and regulations.
It is very important to understand that while the vaccine will help protect you from becoming severely sick with COVID-19 symptoms, it is possible that you can still spread the virus even after being fully vaccinated. Researchers are still studying what protection the COVID-19 vaccines provide, including whether you can have an asymptomatic infection (no symptoms) and spread the virus to others even though you have been vaccinated. While you may have received the vaccine, there are many others in our community waiting to be vaccinated who are still susceptible to the virus. Continuing to follow public health measures after vaccination will help to protect other members of our community.
Finally, after vaccination, it takes time for your body to build immunity. While you can expect very good protection a few weeks after the first dose of vaccine, full protection is not reached until a person has received both doses of the vaccine. For example, it takes between seven to 10 days after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine to be fully protected.
For more information on protecting yourself and others public health guidance, visit halton.ca/COVID19.