Coronavirus Vaccine Provides Protection, Not Immunity

CBS4's Hank Tester reports on the latest recommendation from health experts.

Video Transcript

HANG TESTER: More than a million people in Florida have now received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Officials, state, and federal ramping up vaccine sites. Daily, more and more folks completing the two shot regimen. Dr. Anthony Fauci, this weekend, on the declining number of COVID cases.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: I want to see it go way down. When it goes way down, and the overwhelming majority of the people in the population are vaccinated, then I would feel comfortable in saying, you know, we need to pull back on the masks. We don't need to have masks.

HANG TESTER: But that's a long way off. And the caution for those who have received both shots, you are not immune. You can still carry and spread the COVID, and not know it.

- I think we still need to understand that when you get the vaccine, it doesn't mean that you're free to just run around and not wear a mask. Here's my mask here.

HANG TESTER: There's a lot of faith in the vaccines and the long range prospects, but there's still much we do not know.

- What we're not sure of about the people who have gotten vaccinated, is whether or not we can still transmit the disease to other people.

HANG TESTER: Simply explained, the vaccine will not prevent you from getting COVID, it's believed it protects to the point that if you do, the symptoms are so mild you might not notice. But you can still carry and transmit COVID.

- What we're sure about the vaccine is that if you get the vaccine, you are not going to get sick enough to have to go to the hospital.

HANG TESTER: So bottom line, even if vaccinated, by wearing a mask and following the other protocols, it protects others from spreading COVID, your family, friends, and those you have contact with.

- We can feel safe from the extreme consequences of COVID-19, but what we know for sure that really helps to prevent the spread of it to everyone in our community is wearing a mask, staying six feet apart from each other, and washing our hands very frequently.

HANG TESTER: Getting both those shots is only part of the battle in trying to dampen down this pandemic. Medical experts say you got to continue to wear the mask to protect the rest of the community. Hank Tester, CBS4 News.