Health & Fitness

Do you have to wear masks after the Covid vaccine? A new NIH-sponsored study hopes to answer that

do-you-have-to-wear-masks-after-the-covid-vaccine-a-new-nih-sponsored-study-hopes-to-answer-that

Nurses remove vaccination doses from a vial while Maryland residents receive their second dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine at the Cameron Grove Community Center in Bowie, Maryland on March 25, 2021.

Win McNamee | Getty Images

A new study, supported by the National Institutes of Health, aims to help doctors and officials figure out what people can and cannot do after vaccinating against the coronavirus, including whether they are still wearing masks and social Need to practice distancing.

The study, funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the NIH, will test the ability of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine to prevent infection of the coronavirus, limit the amount of virus in the nose, and reduce transmission from vaccinated people to close contacts.

“We hope that in the next five months we will be able to answer the very important question of whether people who have been vaccinated will become infected asymptomatically and whether they will then pass the infection on to others,” said White House chief medical officer Dr. Anthony Fauci said at a press conference on Friday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that fully vaccinated individuals can congregate indoors with other fully vaccinated individuals and some unvaccinated individuals without precautions such as wearing masks or maintaining distances. Vaccinated people should continue to mask and practice social distancing in public, according to the CDC’s initial guidelines.

Scientists still don’t know whether immunized people can get asymptomatic infections or act as carriers that transmit the virus to others. As more Americans get vaccinated, this NIH study aims to answer those questions.

The randomized, controlled trial will follow 12,000 college students aged 18 to 26 at more than 20 US universities over a period of five months. Preliminary study locations were opened on Thursday.

Study participants are randomly divided into two groups. Six thousand students are immediately vaccinated with Moderna’s two-shot vaccine 28 days apart. Six thousand will be vaccinated four months later as the first control group.

Students dab their noses daily to test for coronavirus infections, fill out electronic questionnaires, and take regular blood samples.

Around 25,000 people identified as “close contacts” among the participants will also take part in the study, providing nasal swabs and blood samples. The researchers will use the close contacts to measure the level of virus transmission from vaccinated people.

More than 133 million doses of Covid vaccine were administered in the US on Thursday morning, according to the CDC.

President Joe Biden set a new goal of 200 million coronavirus vaccinations Thursday in his first 100 days in office.

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Katherine Clark