VACCINE TEAM | Q&A on ‘mask or no mask,’ laminating your vax card

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 5:15 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As we continue to watch vaccines roll out across Kentucky, we are here to answer your questions.

Mask up or no masks? What’s the latest for when you aren’t expected to wear a mask?

It can be confusing with changing information as vaccinations increase.

There’s guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the state’s mask mandate.

U.S. health officials say fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear masks outdoors anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers. And unvaccinated people can drop face coverings in some cases, too. Previously the CDC had been advising that people should wear masks outdoors if they are within 6 feet of each other.

“If you are fully vaccinated and want to attend a small outdoor gathering with people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated or dining at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households, the science shows, if you’re vaccinated, you can do so safely unmasked,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

In Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the statewide mask mandate will no longer be in effect when people are outside at events or venues with 1,000 people or fewer.

“What this means is at events like the Kentucky Derby, you still have to wear a mask, but if you’re at a backyard barbeque, your community pool or an outdoor wedding, you’re not required to wear a mask,” said Gov. Beshear. “We hope this is a relief for people, and remember, the state will be able to lift even more restrictions once the 2.5 million vaccine ‘Team Kentucky Vaccination Challenge’ is reached.”

These changes comes as more than half of U.S. adults have gotten at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, and more than a third have been fully vaccinated.

My wife and I received our vaccinations in Florida, as did many other Kentucky residents this winter. How are we counted toward the governor’s goal of 2.5 million before restrictions are lifted?

Kentucky does have its own immunization registry. Initially created for tracking vaccinations for children, registries track who got a vaccine, when, and where.

There are 62 state and local registries in the nation, and they don’t necessarily share information with one another.

We reached out to the governor’s office to find out if other states share information with Kentucky.

For now, it appears the count toward 2.5 million vaccinations only includes vaccinations performed in Kentucky.

Even if your vaccination isn’t included among Kentucky’s total, it may include non-residents getting their vaccinations in Kentucky. Since April 19, Kentucky vaccination sites no longer require proof of residency to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Is it okay to laminate your COVID-19 vaccination card to keep it from getting smudges?

Earlier this month, a Lexington doctor told us that’s not necessarily a bad idea. But, there’s a catch.

“The most important thing is you don’t want to laminate it before you’ve gotten your second dose if you were getting a vaccine that needs two doses. Either the Pfizer or the Moderna one,” said infectious disease specialist Dr. Aaron Grubbs.

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