What will happen when everyone can get the COVID-19 vaccine?

It will likely still be a while before most people have access to the vaccine. A medical official says some things may not change, but there’s hope.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — We still have a long way to go before the majority of the population is able to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but we get a little closer each day.

The big question now is what will life look like once most people are vaccinated? Will things just go back to normal?

We talked to Joseph M. Flynn, the Chief Administrative Officer for Norton Healthcare for his take.

What do you think the country is going to look like post-vaccine?  

Flynn: “We fear the unknown. This is something new and people have this misgiven faith that the one shot’s going to protect them and, while it may in the short term, it might not in the long term. So will we have to start from scratch in a few months? We don’t know that yet.”

Let’s assume most of us get both doses of the vaccine. Does that mean we can all be mask free and in crowds again?

Flynn: “In the short term, we’re going to need to continue to wear masks and do hygiene because remember, there’s a population that’s immune-compromised. They might not develop the same robust immune response –  even if they’re vaccinated. So, our job as a society really is to look out for them and try to protect them as you go forward.”

What about the concept of herd immunity?

Flynn: “Herd immunity is in some ways a theoretical concept because we don’t know what it really looks like with COVID…the real basis is we get to a critical mass of the population that’s immune and it really breaks the spread.”

While we aren’t getting back to normal as quickly as we’d like, what’s the first major plus side of getting the vaccine?

Flynn: “If I’m in my second dose and I’m 14 days out from that and I’m considered immune – if I were to get COVID I could still spread it, but because you have memory cells, you’re going to quickly attack it. It’s different than if you don’t have immunity – you might spread it for weeks.”

So, we obviously don’t know when things will be fully back to normal post-vaccine, but most medical professions are hopeful that we will get there. 

The timeline just depends on how willing we all are to do our part.

Contact reporter Daniel Sechtin at dsechtin@whas11.com. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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