Health Minister Molwyn Joseph is reiterating that persons who are vaccinated with their first dose, or “fully vaccinated” after having received their second jab, should still wear a mask.
The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has indicated that fully vaccinated persons in that country are permitted to do away with mask-wearing in certain places.
However, Antigua and Barbuda says it will not adopt this policy. Some medical practitioners have said that going without a mask is unsafe, since it is not possible to determine the vaccination status of other people.
Meanwhile, Joseph notes that social-gathering measures have been relaxed already, with numbers being increased to 25 people – up from five. Hence, doing away with masks would be a recipe for disaster, he says.
One woman tells REAL News that a customer attempted to enter her place of business without the face protection. When told she could not come in unless she was wearing a mask, the client reportedly replied that she was fully vaccinated and therefore the mask was not necessary.
However, medical experts say that even inoculated persons can contract and spread the virus. What the vaccine does is ensure that no serious complications from the virus will arise, thereby preventing hospitalization and death.