As COVID-19 vaccines roll out, facemasks will still be essential


December 21, 2020

Alex Kormann, Star Tribune

Andrea Orest, the statewide health improvement partnership coordinator, handed Tim Pohl a free at-home COVID-19 saliva tests while he waited in his car at the Cook County Community Center in Grand Marais, Minn., on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020.

Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 won't provide immunity from the public health directives to wear a cloth face mask in public.

"We are going to be in this mask phase well into 2021," predicted Dr. Anthony Harris, associate medical director at occupational health firm WorkCare. "It won't be until fall of next year that you'll begin to see masks not being a part of our normal day-to-day, at the earliest."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized two COVID-19 vaccines so far, including Moderna's vaccine, which got a green light Friday. Randomized clinical trials involving more than 70,000 people documented 94 to 95% fewer cases of COVID in adults who got vaccinated vs. those who received a placebo.


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