LISTEN: 1st Dose of Vaccine Doesn't Exclude Anyone from Public Health Measures

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Getting your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine doesn't mean it's time to throw caution to the wind.

Doctor Wassim Saad says everyone needs to maintain public health guidelines until the majority of the community gets two doses of the vaccine.

The chief of staff at Windsor Regional Hospital addressed confusion over how protected resident are after a single dose on The Afternoon News.

Depending on the vaccine, Saad says residents will only have between 70 and 80 per cent protection from infection when antibodies peak.

"You have almost no protection for the first week and then between the first week and the second week antibody levels start to ramp up," he says. "Roughly around the two to three week mark you will have achieved as much antibodies as you can."

He says everyone needs to continue following mask and physical distancing rules whether they're vaccinated of not.

"If you look at just sheer numbers and put a group of 100 people together that have all had their first dose and have 80 per cent protection, 20 people in that group of 100 are potentially unprotected, could get the virus and continue to spread it," he added.

Dramatic changes to public health guidelines will come when more than 70 per cent of the population gets a second dose, according to Saad.

"Just because you've got your first dose, I think it's great that you got it and you're 80 per cent protected, but that 80 per cent is not 100 per cent and you still have to follow public health guidelines," he says.

Saad says data shows peak antibody levels for the first dose have now been shown to last from eight to 10 weeks depending on which vaccine is used.

He says one week after the second dose is when close to 95 per cent immunity is achieved.

If the current vaccination pace can be maintained, he says herd immunity could be reached in June and more and more restriction will be rolled back.