Whether you’ve gotten your first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, many may be able to breathe a sigh of relief. Perhaps plans are being made to see family, go shopping, or even eat at a restaurant.

Doctors and scientists are warning people to not be complacent and keep following CDC guidelines.

The Centers for Disease Control and prevention said all guidelines have to be followed. Those include wearing a mask, social distancing, staying away from large crowds, and regular hand washing.

Dr. Sunny Mehrotra with Mercy Health Lourdes said one of the biggest factors as to why people need to keep following these guidelines is because of the COVID-19 variants. He said even though many are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccines, everyone still needs to do their part.

“To truly minimize the impact of this virus, we need to get to a point where 70% or so of our population has immunity, either acquired immunity from having the virus or immunity obviously from the vaccine,” Mehrotra said. “We’re still much less than that, even though we’re making progress. So, it’s important, you’re correct, there is light at the end of the tunnel — we need to keep going towards that light, enough further away from it we need to get to that 70%, in which case, we can truly exhale a little bit.”

Mehrotra recommends signing up to get the vaccine.

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