HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- So far, more than 1.7 million Texans have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and more than 20 million Texans are now eligible to be vaccinated.
As the vaccine becomes more available, some people can't wait to get it. But what happens when you do and when is it fully effective? We're getting your vaccination questions answered thanks to Dr. James McDeavitt, Dean of Clinical Affairs for Baylor College of Medicine.
After I'm vaccinated, when am I fully immune?
"The answer to that is, whatever the last dose is - [whether it] is the second dose of Moderna, the second dose of Pfizer or the Johnson & Johnson dose. From that point forward, you have to wait two weeks. Then after about two weeks, you should be fully vaccinated and have all the benefit from the vaccine," McDeavitt said.
He also cautioned that even once you're vaccinated you'll still need to take precautions.
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"We still have some concerns about the emerging variants. The variants we have right now are, the UK strain, the Brazilian and South African strain. The U.S. vaccines are actually pretty effective against the strains right now. So you're relatively protected from those but for now, I'd still say you have to be cautious," McDeavitt said.
What can I do now that I'm vaccinated, according to the CDC?
"If everybody's been vaccinated, the CDC said that's OK to take your mask off and hug and relax your distancing," McDeavitt said.
What if you're vaccinated and others are not?
"The CDC has said for small, private gatherings. You can walk down the street and visit people who are not vaccinated in low risk groups," said McDeavitt.
McDeavitt also recommends you wear a mask and maintain your distance of six feet if everyone is not vaccinated.
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How significant will your vaccine card be?
"Time will tell, but hold on to it. I had mine laminated and I tucked it into my passports so I won't lose it. It may be important in booking airline tickets. It probably will be important for at least international travel. So, I would definitely hold onto that documentation," said McDeavitt.
When will we reach herd immunity?
"Keep in mind nobody knows what this mythical herd immunity number actually is, people say it's 65%, 70%, 75%, we don't really know. We'll know when we get there because we'll see our viral number improve dramatically," McDeavitt said. He adds that he expects we'll reach herd immunity in June or July.
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You're vaccinated, so what do you need to know now?