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Health experts: COVID vaccine does not mean you can let your guard down – WRAL.com

— Health officials say while the number of people getting vaccinated in the state continues to rise, don’t let your guard down.

Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in North Carolina are dropping, but doctors say that we need more people vaccinated before we’re able to gather together in groups.

Some people who receive the vaccine relax social distancing and mask-wearing after their first shot, Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC.

“I don’t think people should feel completely secure after the first shot,” Gottlieb said on CNBC.

Experts say that is especially true for someone who is older or has pre-existing conditions and may be more vulnerable to coronavirus.

The majority of the population must be immune to coronavirus for herd immunity to be achieved and for it to be safe to remove masks. Experts estimate 70% of the U.S. population — which is more than 200 million people — would need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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Researchers say it isn’t clear yet if a coronavirus infection makes someone immune to the virus, which is why social distancing, mask-wearing and vaccines are key to stopping the spread. We could be continuing to wear masks into next year, expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says.

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“We need a lot more people vaccinated,” said Dr. David Wohl, infectious disease expert with UNC. “I’m really hopeful that [this] summer time will be a lot different than last summer time.”

According to recent data from the CDC, nearly 84,000 people in North Carolina have received their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

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