Whether the vaccine works or not, you will still need PPE in 2021
When it comes to COVID-19, a vaccine in itself is a form of PPE —just at a molecular level. Vaccines protect you from the virus by creating an immunological barrier that not only reduces the likelihood of you catching the disease but also decreases the risk of disease spread.
So, How do Vaccines Work?
A vaccine contains parts, often inactive, of a viral pathogen. These parts are called antigens, and when introduced to the body, they will trigger an immune response. Perhaps one crucial point to bear in mind is that an antigen holds the blueprint for disease. As it’s inactive, it will not cause disease, but as it is the same molecular structure as a real viral pathogen, it can trigger an immune response. So what happens during an immune response? The body has a natural ability to create antibodies in response to an immune reaction. The cool thing about vaccines is that it allows the body to create antigen-specific antibodies without causing disease. Yearly or frequent vaccination ensures memory cells’ development, which really just reminds or trains your body to create antibodies when the pathogen is encountered once again.
The Concept of Herd Immunity
Understanding the concept behind herd immunity is vital to our understanding of both PPE and vaccination. Vaccinations are designed for healthy individuals, those with an already adequate to strong immune system. Immune-compromised people, i.e., cancer or HIV patient, don’t do well with vaccinations. Therefore it’s our duty to ensure that we decrease the prevalence of a disease within a population so that these immune-compromised people are less likely to acquire the disease. This idea forms the basis of herd immunity, which means that through the vaccination of healthy individuals within a population, we indirectly protect those who cannot be vaccinated by decreasing the prevalence of pathogens within a herd. And as we mentioned above, vaccines are just a biological form of a PPE couple this with equipment such as facemasks, gloves, etc., and you actively reduce the risk of exposure to harmful pathogens that cause disease.
3 Reasons Why You Still Need PPE
Have you ever wondered if you could still get a disease after being vaccinated? You definitely can! And that’s simply because it takes time for the body to develop and build up immunity to a specific pathogen. PPE’s or Personal Protective Equipment act as physical barriers that keep a pathogen from entering your body, or they can stop a pathogen from spreading. Regardless of whether you’re vaccinated or not PPE is crucial when it comes to staying safe and healthy.
They Provide Protection from Other Pathogens Unrelated to COVID.
PPE wasn’t just designed to protect you against COVID-19. Face masks, gloves, and eye-goggles—all these forms of PPE not only act as a barrier against COVID-19 viral particles, but they can also keep you safe against other everyday pathogens like e.coli, noroviruses, and more!
They Keep Others Safe!
As an example, facemasks such as the N95 respirator keep pathogens from entering your body. While at the same time, if a person is infected with COVID-19, then the facemask can contain a viral pathogen and prevent it from spreading. Bacteria, bugs, and viruses can lay laden within the cracks of our hands. By wearing PPE such as gloves, we can actively stop them from transmitting onto surfaces and others. So, while a person may be vaccinated for a disease, they can still act as a vector to spread disease from person-to-person or person-to-object. The use of PPE post-vaccination will prevent and reduce the risk of pathogen spread through the environment.
They Keep You Safe!
As we mentioned above, it takes time for immunity to develop post-vaccination. This means that post-vaccination, you can still be susceptible to acquiring a disease. However, by wearing the appropriate PPE, you’ll be able to protect yourself by actively decreasing the chance of catching a disease.