Johns Hopkins medical experts say to remain vigilant during pandemic

As we continue to make our way through the pandemic we're seeing more people being vaccinated. 

While that means we're another step closer to returning to some sense of normalcy medical experts say it's still important not to let your guard down. 

Here are some reminders of how to remain vigilant during the pandemic. 

As millions of Americans roll up their sleeves to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, medical professionals from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health say millions more still need to be vaccinated. 

"Staying local is really important to help slow the spread of variants," Keri Althoff said.

Keri Althoff

Althoff holds a PhD and is the associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the university.

Althoff says travel can spread coronavirus and its variants. 

"If you have transmission, you will likely have the variants. More specifically, if there’s transmission, the virus is replicating," she said.

COVID-19 vaccine

As for being vaccinated, if you've only received your first dose, Althoff has some advice. 

"With the mRNA vaccines, you are two doses in plus 14 days. that is the time point at which you can feel vaccinated," she said.

She goes on to say after you received the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it takes 14 days to build immunity to the virus. 

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And what about being fully vaccinated and wearing a mask? Medical professional Colleen Barry says absolutely and explains why.

"The concern is not vaccinated people themselves, but everyone else. The most important scientific question, I think, is still unsettled that is, can a vaccinated person transmit the virus to an unvaccinated one? So, here, the important public health message is wear the mask," Barry said.

Althoff and Barry say the vaccine is safe and one of the best protections against COVID.

The medical professionals go on to say some of the major signs of things returning to normal will include a continued decline in the number of COVID cases, hospitalizations and death.

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