As more and more Americans get vaccinated against the coronavirus, many are wondering how long we will have to wear masks.
Dr Anthony Fauci raised eyebrows this weekend when he said we would probably wear masks or face coverings by 2022, but local health experts agree – it may take some time Only then will we be able to stop wearing masks.
“We will probably look at the end of winter/2022 to continue wearing masks,” said Dr. Katherine Gergen Barnett of Boston Medical Center.
There are many factors that will determine how long we need to wear masks – including COVID variants, vaccines and herd immunity, says Gergen Barnett.
“The reality is we won’t vaccinate at least 80% of our community until late fall,” says Gergen Barnet.
And she says we need to keep in mind that vaccines do not provide absolute immunity.
“What we don’t know is whether you can give it to someone else,” she said.
Over the past six weeks, daily COVID cases in the country have decreased by 78%, according to CDC figures. Could this drop have something to do with herd immunity?
“You still see some people walking around without masks, they don’t care, they think they’re immune,” said Tom Gosselin of Worcester.
So frustration is growing among those who are heeding the advice of medical professionals…
Pam from Auburn says, “After a year, you’ll get used to it.”
… And those who are fed up with face coverings.
Karen Lamb of Grafton said, “When it comes to summer, my asthma and this, forget it, I’m not going to do it.”
Gergen Barnett says we all need to fight the fatigue of that pandemic to reach the end goal.
“We don’t require people to wear masks for the rest of their lives,” she said.
Gergen Barnett said masks will also remain important for a while, because vaccines haven’t been around long enough for researchers to know how long they provide immunity.