Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated? title=
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?
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By Dr. Henning Ansorg, M.D., FACP, Health Officer County of Santa Barbara, Department of Public Health

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated outdoor/indoor mask and face covering guidance for fully vaccinated individuals. This is good news as it demonstrates that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at reducing the risk of contracting the virus or experiencing severe symptoms from the virus.

To be “fully vaccinated,” it means that at least two weeks have passed since a person has completed their vaccine series (this means two weeks after receiving the second shot of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson).

The new guidelines allow fully vaccinated people to be without masks outdoors unless they are in a crowded environment, such as at a sporting event, concert or parade. Mask-free activities for fully vaccinated people include exercising outside, dining outside, or gathering with small groups outdoors.

People who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated must continue to wear masks outdoors when around other unvaccinated people, as well as when dining outdoors and at crowded events. 

It is important to know that all people, whether they are vaccinated or not , are advised to wear masks indoors when around other people they do not live with, regardless of the activity.  For more information about local public health orders, guidance, and vaccine distribution in Santa Barbara County, please visit:

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letmego May 12, 2021 09:21 AM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

I mean, I wore masks 6-12 hours a day at work for decades. It's really no big deal. But...I am starting to wonder where it ends. I see the CDC guidelines, but there are some things missing.

1. Indoors, vaccinated, in a swimming pool, with 6' distance. Obviously, I do not wear a mask when I swim. (No need to give me advice here, I've already started swimming, and it's glorious!)
2. Indoors, vaccinated, in a meeting with a few other fully vaccinated people. I mean, I'm not back at the office yet, but I will be.

What then? Will I have to wear a mask in my office with my officemate (we don't have private offices)...forever? That seems ridiculous, as he's probably going to be fully vaccinated soon if he isn't already.

3. Outdoors, children who are unvaccinated. By all accounts, <1% (is it 0.1%?) of spread has come from outdoor situations. Will kids be wearing masks outdoors (in group situations) forever? Really?

I see that they were trying to cover all the bases, but they missed a few.

Alexblue May 12, 2021 02:46 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

Pit--don't know if you ever watch Curb Your Enthusiasm, but there's an episode where Larry David starts wearing a MAGA hat because he figures out it will keep most people away from him. It's pretty funny.

sacjon May 11, 2021 05:14 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

Seems pretty straightforward. If you are not vaccinated yet or refuse to be, put on a mask if you are in a crowded indoor event/place. No biggie, common sense. If you refuse to wear a mask AND refuse to get vaccinated, you're just a selfish punk and none of this will matter to you anyways. Hope you don't get COVID too bad!

sacjon May 11, 2021 07:10 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

FERNALD - did you just "cancel culture" me? I thought only liberals do that? Sorry any opposing views cause you so much distress. Maybe you should avoid the internet, I wouldn't want your delicate sensibilities offended.

sacjon May 12, 2021 09:35 AM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

LETMEGO - yeah, in certain situations, but that's just common sense. If you're close to unvaxxed people or people you don't know and you are not vaxxed, just take a little extra step and put the mask on. It's really not a big deal.

LooseCannon May 11, 2021 05:49 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

It's my understanding that people who are fully vaccinated (like myself, with Pfizer, second shot over two weeks ago) are incapable of either catching or transmitting the virus, except in extreme cases. So it seems to me that the public health advisory for everyone, including fully-vaccinated people, wearing masks is the equivalent of hygiene theater, the spraying and wiping of surfaces with alcohol, i.e., completely unnecessary. I suppose they want us to continue wearing masks to protect those who are unable to get a shot, juveniles, in other words. The FDA and CDC has now approved the vaccine for all teens, and by midsummer, presumably younger kids, too. After that, by September, I don't envision wearing a mask in any circumstance, barring a deadly mutation. The adults who are refusing the vaccine, at this point, are enabling the possibility of a mutation, with their obstinate, anti-science stupidity.

ginger1 May 11, 2021 07:56 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

For anyone who does not agree with my post, please tell us what is not exactly correct.

Also consider this: There were but 2 new cases yesterday and a total of 22 still-infectious cases on the entire south coast; that's out of 250,000 people living in 100 sq miles. The chances of you randomly bumping into someone with covid while out walking the dog is..........nearly impossible. Let us not forget that the real-world vaccine efficacy of the mRNA brands is not 95%, it's 99.99 percent. That's the most effective vaccine for anything ever. An actual medical miracle. Yet the CDC and our Public Heath Department wont tell you that. Why? Why do vaccinated people have to cover up anywhere? What's the risk? Hint: there is no risk.

The answer is fear that people will lie about being vaccinated. So what? Vaccinated can't get covid and the liars will only put themselves and other unvaccinated people at risk. (If for some medical reason you cannot be vaccinated then of course, wear a proper KN95 mask when appropriate.) If you can be vaccinated and choose not to, that's not my problem and good luck to you. You'll need it.

sacjon May 11, 2021 08:26 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

GINGER - "If you are vaccinated, you cannot get or give covid, period." - that is wrong, verifiably wrong. Just because Hannity and Youtube said that doesn't mean it's true. The rest of your comment is predicated on that false statement, so....

CoastWatch May 11, 2021 08:39 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

@ SACJON- the chances of getting Covid after a vaccine is so minimal, you have a better chance of winning the lottery. Even if you got it, like most people, you will MAYBE be sick for 3 days at best ... Stay in you little sheep den and follow "The Man's" orders. The rest of us will live our lives accordingly.

sacjon May 11, 2021 08:59 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

COASTWATCH - not surprisingly, you missed the point. The fact is, it IS possible to still get the virus and/or spread it after vaccination. I mean, you yourself admitted it. Therefore, GINGER's assertion that you cannot catch/ spread it, "period," is wrong. Next!

ginger1 May 11, 2021 10:52 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

Okay. One more time:
If you cannot become infected (the mRNA vaxes are 99.99% effective for that) you cannot infect someone else. Period. That is not debatable. It is the definition of the word "infection." Basic medicine.

Ever hear of someone vaccinated for chickenpox giving that herpes virus to someone else? Of course not because they don't have oozing lesions shedding virus. It simply does not happen. Not infected, no virus to shed. Do I need to write that again?

Too bad the CDC and the Public Health Department have so much trouble speaking the truth. But they're damn good at producing nonsensical but pretty flow charts on how to stay safe. I can't wait for the next addition coming soon. I'll bet you that will be just prior to Memorial Day weekend. Mark your calendar. New Mask Rule Day.

Voice of Reason May 12, 2021 08:19 AM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

What's frustrating Ginger, and has been this entire pandemic, is people's inability to understand basic math and statistics. Even if we assume there is rampant community spread (which there isn't), after you're fully vaccinated the chances of you catching and then dying from covid are less than the chances you'll die in a car accident this week. Yet the same people who will continue to wear a mask for their own protection after being vaccinated won't think twice before getting in a car. It is incredible how detached from real science (vs. The Science TM) and accurate risk assessment a large portion of the population has become. This is a fact, based on real data, on real science. If you want to wear a mask go for it, but if it's because you want to feel safe you probably shouldn't get in a car ever again.

letmego May 12, 2021 09:28 AM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

Ginger, the reason that people are arguing with your actual point (vs. what you are trying to suggest) is that people who are fully vaccinated HAVE gotten infected AND have died (see: Kentucky nursing home). They may be nit-picking, but it is a fact. Vaccination does not completely prevent infection.

However, it is SO effective that for me, I no longer wear a mask outdoors and I happily swim in an indoor pool (obviously maskless). My teen is being vaccinated soon, my kids will be at summer camp this summer, we've actually seen FRIENDS again and it's glorious.

I do, however, still take my mask to buy coffee in the coffee shop, and I will wear a mask on airplanes FOREVER (especially since we will be traveling over Christmas).

gcheadley May 12, 2021 10:28 AM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

GINGER1 - I appreciate your confidence in the vaccine and I wish everyone had the same confidence, I certainly was one of the first in line as soon as my turn came. However, those kind of statistics are not as cut and dry as you seem to think. For instance, in the Health Care industry, they have been shown to be closer to 90% effective in preventing infection. See the CDC published following health care workers from Dec 2020 to March 2021. Obviously, if you are around sick people all of the time, you are performing a more accurate test as to how much protection they actually offer. My thought is, you are likely confusing the 99.99% effective at preventing symptoms that require hospitalization.

sacjon May 12, 2021 10:38 AM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

VOR - how many people die in car accident in SB County each week? With your "superior" math skills (rotflmao), you should be able to provide the numbers on this. We're all waiting........

Alexblue May 12, 2021 02:44 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

Coastwatch, why do you constantly feel the need to reduce all of the debates to two sides? Us vs. you, "sheep" vs. "aware", it's so unfortunate--we really need to work harder in this country at taking less absolutist/extreme positions.

Voice of Reason May 12, 2021 02:55 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

Sac, I'm glad you brought that up. According to SBCPHD no one has died of Covid, excuse me, with Covid, in Santa Barbara County in May. Just from the noozhawk and edhat traffic accident reports, more people have died in SB County from car accidents in May. I'm not going to search through all the accident reports right now, but only 6 people with Covid died in SB County in April. I'll bet you more people died from car accidents in SB than Covid in April. If I'm right, I'll never comment again, if you're right you'll never comment again?

Voice of Reason May 12, 2021 05:11 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

You may be reading by posts but I'm not sure you're comprehending them (pretty sure actually). So far in May, more have died in car accidents. If you take my bet I will do some research on April. Fair warning, I don't often make bets unless I'm very confident in the outcome. Balls in your Sac court, what's it going to be?

JB86 May 13, 2021 03:37 AM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

You are quite right. The risk is there, but way overblown. The mask thing is way overdone. There is no scientific reason for anyone to wear a mask in open spaces, and scant evidence for such in other venues.

Ahchooo May 11, 2021 08:17 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

Ginger, what if a significant number of unvaccinated people are all milling about the supermarket at the same time? They risk their own health, which is their business, but my concern is that we don’t want _any_ spread of this virus, because it mutates as it spreads. Kids are still not vaccinated and the younger ones might not be for a long time. The risks are low, I know. (But the risks of kidnapping are also vanishingly low, and yet parents go to great lengths to prevent that.) I have no problem wearing a simple mask inside a store, just as a reminder that we aren’t out of this yet, and nobody can tell who is vaxxed and who isn’t. Our rates are really low now, but it only takes one contagious person to cause a new cluster. Call it theater if you want, but I can handle indoor masking for another few weeks.

ginger1 May 11, 2021 08:56 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

AHCHOOO, think for a moment, If you are vaccinated, what risk are you to the unvaccinated milling around the store? Or them to you? None. So what is the reason you need to be masked? There is none. Indoors, especially in confined and crowded spaces remains a concern, but only for the unvaccinated who of course need to be masked so as not to risk their own health. Until they get the shot.

The anti-vaxers and deniers will get sick and perhaps some will die. That's on them. No me or you. Those (few) irresponsible antivaxers are not going to cause a cluster and if they do, it will be among themselves. Not the vaccinated and not the at-risk unvaccinated who are taking reasonable, science-based precautions.

You might feel wearing a mask is an okay reminder that we're not out of this yet, but my opinion is that doing so maintains that level of fear instead of promoting the value of being vaccinated, which is the only thing that WILL get us back to normal.

Ahchooo May 12, 2021 08:48 AM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

Ginger, I already explained my reasoning on the first points in your 8:56 PM comment, so I won’t repeat myself. As far as the idea that my voluntary wearing of masks maintains a level fear—do people really think that way? Do people really think if they’re expected to keep wearing masks for a bit longer there’s no point in getting vaccinated? Masks are such a small, temporary inconvenience. It’s tragic that they were made into a political tool.

Alexblue May 12, 2021 02:41 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

Ginger--yes on all your points but you aren't taking in to account the potential for a new variant to spread because we don't have enough herd immunity. Fortunately, at the moment, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines appear to be up to the job of countering current variants.

I would just really love to not end ups where we were six months ago.

Seabird May 11, 2021 09:18 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

This will not be popular, but I am way past the paranoia stage of this pandemic. In the couple of months before we even knew of its existence, to the months of uncontrolled transmission during 2020, most (and I consider myself and my loved ones lucky) of us either did not contract the virus, or experienced a mild illness from it. Fast-forward to May 2021, when a majority of the population is at least partially vaccinated, we've been wearing masks, washing hands, taking precautions for what seems like forever. I just CANNOT DO THIS CONTINUED PARANOIA. We - at least here in our little SB County - are NOT in a state of emergency. Use common sense: wear masks indoors with strangers, and wash your hands. Get vaccinated if you wish, and I hope you do. And for the love of god, can we please start to move on like we're not in an emergency any longer? Because we are not.

sacjon May 11, 2021 09:27 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

SEABIRD - there's facts and there's paranoia. I agree with you, use common sense. Sadly, some are so anti "paranoia" that they take any ounce of common sense mask wearing guidelines as some violation of their rights or some crazy crap. Yes, use common sense, don't go overboard. Masks indoors when you can't distance from strangers. Wash your hands. Get vaccinated. Easy.

Alexblue May 12, 2021 02:39 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

Seabird--wouldn't it be great if we could all use common sense--yes absolutely. Unfortunately there is a massive disinformation wave out there which completely defeats common sense.

This being the case, I honestly don't even know how to handle things other than hope enough people understand he basic science of vaccination to get us to a point of herd immunity that can contain potential variants.

I don't debate anti-vax extremists anymore, they are a lost cause, only they can educate themselves.

Channelfog May 12, 2021 04:27 AM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

Until we are sure of the efficacy of the vaccines, it is prudent to maintain measures to reduce contagion. The Sinovac vaccine is proving useless in the Seychelles where a 60% fully vaccinated population is locked down due to massive spread. Big pharma has such a track record of deceit and lies for profit for me to believe their claims about anything, especially short term tests.
The insult to injury is seeing how viciously people treat each other simply because they disagree. That and the mob rule mentality are painful.

a-1620852396 May 12, 2021 01:46 PM
Do I Still Need to Wear A Mask if I've Been Vaccinated?

The whole Seychelles thing is just more paltering by antivax spreaders of disinformation. Their problem is that they have a significant fraction of their population living in areas where vaccination was not readily available, and the virus is spreading in those enclaves where the populace is unvaccinated and in close contact.


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