What's The Risk of Going Out Without A Mask After The Vaccine?

In our series "What's the Risk?" experts weigh in on what risks different scenarios pose for transmitting COVID-19.
Posted at 4:02 PM, Apr 02, 2021

As more people become vaccinated, you might be wondering about the risks of getting sick with COVID-19. 

We asked the experts, what’s the risk of going outside without a mask after the vaccine?

Their take: The risk of contracting COVID-19 is medium.

"You should still wear a mask even if you're vaccinated," Dr. Irfan N. Hafiz, infectious disease physician and northwest region chief medical officer at Northwestern Medicine, said.

"After two weeks, you definitely have built the immunity you need and definitely is much safer than it was prior," Katie Cary, assistant vice president of infection prevention for HCA Continental Division, told Newsy.

"If you're going outside for a walk where you still have some distance between you and anyone else, the risks would still be low if you're outside. But in a highly crowded area, then the risk would rise," Dr. Kelly Cawcutt, associate medical director of infection control and epidemiology at Nebraska Medical Center, said.

"We still don't know whether or not the vaccine prevents you from spreading the infection," Dr. Frank Esper, pediatric infectious diseases specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, said. 

For more answers on what is low-, medium- or high-risk, visit