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What you need to do after getting vaccinated for COVID-19

Dr James Henry displays a vial of the

Dr James Henry displays a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the NYPD Academy in College Point on Monday. Credit: Jeff Bachner

For 10 months, we've heard the same message: avoid large crowds, practice social distancing and wear a mask. Those basic health precautions should continue, health professionals say, even after receiving two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Many wonder why those guidelines are still needed if the vaccine is safe and effective. Here are some key questions and answers:

Why is a vaccine needed if social distancing and mask wearing can prevent the spread of the virus?

Do I still need to wear a mask and practice social distancing after being vaccinated?

How long do experts think wearing a mask and social distancing will last?

What activities can you feel comfortable doing in the immediate aftermath of being vaccinated?

How long will the vaccine protection last?