Experts issue warning as the ‘race to vaccinate’ continues in U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nearly 6% of Americans have received the coronavirus vaccine. It’s a sign of progress, but questions remain about whether a person can still spread the virus even after they’ve been vaccinated.

With the death toll from COVID-19 now at more than 2.1 million worldwide, the hope is that the vaccine rollout will slow the spread of the virus.

A common question is whether people who’ve been vaccinated can stop wearing a face mask and no longer have to socially distance.

Experts say not so fast.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, it typically takes about two weeks after the second shot for sufficient immunity to kick in. Even after a person is vaccinated, they might be able to pick up the virus and spread it to others.

That’s why experts say prevention measures remain important.

Right now, two vaccines — one from Pfizer and the other from Moderna — are available to Americans.

In clinical trials, both vaccines were reported to be effective in preventing illness from the coronavirus.

Scientists continue to study how the vaccines affect transmission.

Public health officials said at least 70% of the population will need to be vaccinated for the U.S. to achieve herd immunity.