Can I stop wearing a mask after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

Even after COVID-19 vaccinations start in the U.S., masks and social distancing will be recommended for some time

Can I stop wearing a mask after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

No. For a couple reasons, masks and social distancing will still be recommended for some time after people are vaccinated.

People are expected to get some level of protection within a couple of weeks after the first shot. But full protection may not happen until a couple weeks after the second shot.

And even once vaccine supplies start ramping up, getting hundreds of millions shots into people's arms is expected to take months.

Fuller also noted vaccine testing is just starting in children, who won’t be able to get shots until study data indicates they're safe and effective for them as well.

Moncef Slaoui, head of the U.S. vaccine development effort, has estimated the country could reach herd immunity as early as May, based on the effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. That's assuming there are no problems meeting manufacturers' supply estimates, and enough people step forward to be vaccinated.

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The AP is answering your questions about the coronavirus in this series. Submit them at: FactCheck@AP.org.

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