Health

The Real Deal About COVID-19: What You Need to Know

In recent weeks, there have been changes to recommended safety precautions related to COVID-19 and scientific discoveries that provide greater insight into the impact of the delta variant of the virus. Below readers will find updated information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as insights gleaned from a conversation with former U.S. surgeons general that answer some of the most frequently asked questions from members of our community.

Q: Can you get COVID-19 if you are fully vaccinated?

A: The likelihood of contracting COVID-19 is far greater if you are unvaccinated. Those who are fully vaccinated are also less likely to become ill and be hospitalized.

Q: Does the vaccine protect you from the delta variant?

A: Yes. Those who are vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccines are protected from having a severe illness caused by the COVID-19 delta variant. While it is still possible to contract the virus, the likelihood of becoming severely ill is very slim.

Q: Who is transmitting the virus the most?

A: Those who are unvaccinated have been shown to be the dominant transmitters for the COVID-19 virus.

Q: Are vaccinations free?

A: COVID-19 vaccinations are free and available at clinics, pharmacies and physicians’ offices. There are also community vaccination sites located throughout the city. A list of places where you can get vaccinated can be found on the D.C. Government’s Coronavirus website.

Q: If I am fully vaccinated, will I need to get a booster shot?

A: Conversation and research surrounding booster shots are ongoing but there’s no concrete information that indicates that a booster shot is needed right now.

Q: Do I have to wear a mask if I am fully vaccinated?

A: In D.C., masks are mandatory indoors regardless of vaccination status.

Q: How contagious is the delta variant?

A: According to the CDC, the delta variant is twice as contagious compared to previous variants.

Q: If you are fully vaccinated and test positive for COVID-19, can you spread the virus to others?

A: Yes. According to the CDC, if you test positive with a delta variant breakthrough infection the virus can be transmitted to others. However, people who are fully vaccinated are infectious for a shorter period of time.

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