You could still spread COVID-19, even after getting vaccinated
Because the coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine are both so new, there's not enough evidence at this point to know if people can still carry the coronavirus pathogens and pass them along to others without being infected themselves.
"This gives enough time for the virus to grow in the respiratory passages and spread the infection to others, all while the body is fighting its own infection, aided by the vaccine," Gonsenhauser told CNET.
There's a lack of data that shows whether or not a vaccinated individual can spread the virus after becoming infected, and a person could potentially be an asymptomatic carrier, he added.
"While the vaccine is highly effective, there's still a slim chance -- 5 to 10% -- that after someone gets vaccinated, they could become infected," Gonsenhauser said. However, more data could become available as scientists and doctors learn more about the effects of the vaccine on COVID-19.
Read more: COVID-19 reinfection: Can you get the coronavirus more than once? What we know so far
Until experts fully understand the protection a COVID-19 vaccine provides, it's important to continue wearing a mask and following social distancing protocols, the CDC says. This can help prevent the coronavirus spread among communities of people until more of the population is vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Wearing a mask is "adding on the protection of the vaccination," Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, said Dec. 14 on a CBS radio affiliate. The CDC says that together, wearing a face mask and getting vaccinated will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.
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