What Is The Risk Of Returning To In-Person Work After Getting Vaccinated? Expert’s Opinion On The Matter

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : August 6, 2021

Even those who have been vaccinated should start wearing masks indoors in areas with high levels of Coronavirus transmission. This advice has been updated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention once again. One study that informs them that even fully vaccinated individuals can pass on the Delta variant played a key role in their decision.

What Is The Risk Of Returning To In-Person Work After Getting Vaccinated?

The federal government, Disney, Netflix, Google, and Walmart have announced plans to require employees to receive vaccines before returning to work in person. When vaccine mandates are in place, will vaccinated people be able to go back to work? Can masking and unvaccinated people around you be enough? What if they are not wearing masks and they aren’t vaccinated? Who should be protected if they have children who aren’t old enough to be vaccinated?

What Is The Risk Of Returning To In-Person Work After Getting Vaccinated? Expert's Opinion On The Matter

CNN’s Medical Analyst Leana Wen assisted us in navigating these uncertain times. Wen is a doctor and visiting professor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University.

Breakthrough infections can occur. Do vaccination mandates help if those vaccinated are also prone to spreading Covid-19?

Dr. Leana Wen: It will make workplaces much safer if vaccine requirements are in place. It’s because of these reasons. Many people do not understand what the statistics from the CDC mean. Vaccinated people who have Covid-19 could carry the virus in the same way as people who are not vaccinated and have Covid-19.

It is still possible to contract Covid-19 if you are not vaccinated, but the chance is greatly reduced. If you’re vaccinated, your risk of getting the Coronavirus is roughly eight-fold lower than if you’re not, and your risk of having a severe illness that causes hospitalization and even death is roughly 25 times lower. That’s incredible.

The amount of risk of being infected by a person who has Coronavirus and has spent time in an enclosed, indoor environment is eight times less if they are vaccinated than if they have not been vaccinated. The requirement of vaccines at work makes sense in that regard. The risk of infecting your coworkers is dramatically reduced. Due to your vaccination, you are also greatly reduced in your chances of contracting Covid-19 from them as well.

Can you still contract Coronavirus from someone who has Coronavirus? Definitely. Vaccinated or not, the more likely it is you will get Covid-19, the higher the coronavirus transmission rate in your community. When everyone has been fully vaccinated, it is safer to share space with others.

Why don’t people have the option of opting out of vaccination through a workplace test?

Wen: Testing frequency is dependent on how often it takes place. Taking an antiviral test will not prevent the acquisition of Covid-19. The frequency of testing, however, could allow this person to be caught early and prevented from spreading infections. A twice-weekly test would be more comfortable for me than a weekly test. Providing the FDA has authorized either the antigen test or the PCR test, either would be acceptable.

Test less frequently and you may find yourself in a false reassurance situation. A week after testing negative for Coronavirus, someone could’ve contracted it afterward. An unvaccinated person, therefore, has a higher risk of contracting Covid-19 and spreading it to you.

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Is it necessary for workplaces to require both vaccinations and masks?

Wen: There has been no official word from the CDC on this topic. In the present day, the CDC recommends indoor masking in areas of high or substantial Covid-19 transmission and does not insist that masks are no longer necessary if everyone has been vaccinated.

The way this is written is a mistake. Individuals who have been vaccinated have a very low chance of passing on the disease to others. There is no way to get zero risks at some point. An employee vaccine requirement is an excellent way to protect the workplace. When a workplace requires proof of vaccination and an enforced vaccination policy, I think masking could instead be optional. However, some individuals may prefer to work carefully. I completely understand that. It would be great if workplace accommodations could be made.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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