CINCINNATI — More than 2 million people in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana combined have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but local health researchers said it's still important to continue wearing a mask and observing other health precautions, even for those who have been vaccinated.
Christian Bradley, a Tri-Health employee, said he received his COVID-19 vaccines to set an example and to protect his family.
"Mainly my family," he said. "My father, I haven't really seen him much since the pandemic. Also my daughter, 15-year-old sophomore at Fairfield High School."
Despite his recent vaccination, Tri-Health nurse researcher Rachel Baker said it's still important that people not let their guard down around family members who are high-risk.
She said the vaccine trials tested the people who reported symptoms.
"So at the end we could say, 'Hey, look, the group that had the vaccine had a 95% lower risk of getting COVID,'" said Baker. "We don't have the data on whether they prevent COVID with no symptoms."
With that in mind, she said, it's still important for those who have been vaccinated to keep social distancing, masking and limiting gatherings, especially gatherings comprised of unvaccinated people, until herd immunity can be achieved.
The Centers for Disease Control also said the guidelines in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 still apply to those who've been vaccinated.