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The best thing you can do to make sure the COVID-19 vaccine works

An expert recently told CNN that keeping cases low can help the COVID-19 vaccine stay effective

Vials containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Utah.
Vials containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are pictured at the Mountain America Exposition Center in Sandy on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

The United States will need to keep COVID-19 cases low in order to prevent more surges created by variants and for the vaccine to stay effective, an expert recently told CNN.

What’s going on?

Dr. Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told CNN on Tuesday night that the COVID-19 vaccine will continue to be effective against the coronavirus if people keep cases low.

  • “The best thing we could possibly do to improve the chances that the vaccine will continue working as we’re hoping it will, is to reduce cases as much as possible without having those reductions occur as a result of vaccine-derived immunity,” he said.

Mina said that wearing masks and staying socially distanced can keep the coronavirus from spreading at a high level. Soon, it will become likely that you’re interacting with someone who is already vaccinated.

  • “The more opportunities we give the virus to come in contact with somebody who is immune, the more opportunities there are for the virus to find a way around that level of immunity and those antibodies,” Mina said, per CNN.

Don’t ease up

Experts continue to urge Americans to not ease up on their habits right now amid the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, Dr. Brandon Webb, an Intermountain Healthcare infectious diseases physician in Utah, told reporters it is not time to ease up, according to the Deseret News.

  • Webb said around 20% of Utahns have immunity against COVID-19, either through contact tracing or getting the vaccine, per the Deseret News.

Per NBC News, public health experts still advise vaccinated Americans to wear masks, socially distance and avoid crowds and poorly ventilated areas.