Although the nation has reached an important milestone in expanding coronavirus vaccine eligibility to all adults, public health experts in Massachusetts warn that the pandemic isn't over.
Dr. Kimi Kobayashi, the chief quality officer at UMass Memorial, said it is important for everyone to wait the full two weeks after the second shot for the body to build up immunity. However, he also said everyone needs to keep taking precautions until more of the population is vaccinated.
"We’re in a complicated stage where some are vaccinated and some aren't," Kobayashi said. "It is really important to remember - even as vaccines become available - it doesn’t mean everyone is vaccinated. We still have to wait for a large number of population to be vaccinated."
Kobayashi noted that experts still don’t know if someone who is vaccinated can transmit the virus or not.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is "keeping a close eye" on COVID-19 cases in fully vaccinated people. On Thursday morning, the CDC said it had reports of approximately 5,800 so-called breakthrough infections, out of the nearly 77 million individuals in the United States who have been fully vaccinated.
While the director of the CDC says that number, which amounts to about .007%, is likely an underestimate, it still shows that the vaccines are working.
"We have arrived at this important stage and we are close to the end, but this is not the end," Kobayashi said.