Health officials again warn to not get too lax after getting COVID-19 vaccine

The Washington State Department of Health said it is seeing a spike in COVID cases. While we’re seeing and hearing a lot about more people getting vaccinated, and we’re one week out from eligibility opening up to everyone in the state that’s 16 or older. Officials say during this time it’s still crucial to keep safety protocols in place-and remember the fight isn’t over.

"It’s more of a mind game you know, you get it and you feel like you’re going to be okay, it’s not really you are-its just more of an 'I’m not as scared anymore,'" says Buddy Gilbert.

Gilbert is one of many people to recently get their first dose of the vaccine and immediately feel a sense of relief, but health officials’ caution: don’t let that give you a false sense of protection.

Buddy says in the week or so since getting the vaccine, he’s gone out more.

"I found myself not wearing a mask much more, and that’s a little scary especially since I live with such an elderly man."

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Gilbert lives with his grandfather, so he realizes he still has to be very careful and catches himself feeling probably a little too relaxed after his first modern shot.

"It takes your body a while to build the antibodies," says Dr. Dan Diamond, of WSU’s medical school.

Dr. Diamond says it's important people remember the process it takes to get to 95% immunity. "It takes a couple of weeks after the second one, so a couple of weeks after the first one you have some immunity but then when you get that second one it really boosts it again."

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If you’re doing the Johnson and Johnson shot, it also takes two weeks for immunity to build. But even after you do have your immunity, he says it’s key to understand that there’s a chance you could still spread the virus to others around you who aren’t yet vaccinated.

"At the beginning, it was like we can do this, we're just going to rally-we're better together when we're apart, we can do this, everybody was rallying. And now its like-its like a marathon and people are tired," says Dr. Diamond.

He says he understands the COVID fatigue and how after you get the vaccine you might find it harder to have self-control to social distance and wear masks.

"Part of me is just going nuts because I want to spend time with my friends I want to go do stuff I just want to be able to go back to normal again. But if I know if I throw all that caution to the wind, there's going to be a huge price to pay and it's going to set us back. And I don’t want any setbacks I want it to continue to get better because I want to get back to normal."

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