SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — More and more seniors are getting their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
It's an emotional moment that comes with a desire for normalcy, but doctors warn it's no time to slack on social distancing and that we might be wearing masks longer than expected.
CBS13 spoke with Solano County Resident Lola Ferguson, who is living life fully vaccinated.
"It's like a weight lifted off. I don't feel as paranoid like, 'uh don't get close to me'," Ferguson said.
She got her second dose on February 12th, waited a week, then made plans to finally see her son and his family.
"I bought barbecue and I came over and I hugged them and I held them for a minute," Ferguson said.
It's a great emotional release, but Ferguson said she'll heed the warnings from doctors.
The Sacramento County Health Department said it's still possible for people with both doses to get the virus but the infection would be less serious. A spokesperson said, "until more are vaccinated, everyone will need to continue social distancing, mask-wearing and using hand sanitizer for several more months."
"In the beginning, I thought it was a cure-all and then I realized it's just an extra step to be safe," Ferguson said.
Infectious Disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said it's possible Americans could still be wearing masks in 2022, or until infection rates drop low enough.
"It will never be zero but a minimal, minimal threat you will be exposed to someone who is infected," Fauci said.
UC Davis infectious expert Dr. Dean Blumberg said the vaccines available right now may not fully protect against coronavirus variants that have popped up around the world.
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"So if these variants do have a significant escape from vaccine-induced immunity, these vaccines can be updated just like we have a new influenza vaccine every year," Blumberg said.
Lola said she'll enjoy her new feeling of freedom, from behind a mask.
"I feel like I can do more, not like before, but still more," Ferguson said.
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