A: To protect ourselves from COVID-19 (including the new variants), we need to use all our SMARTS!
↔️ Space: Keep your distance from other people.
😷 Masks: Keep your nose + mouth covered with a mask that fits well.
💨 Air: Keep it fresh.
🔄 Restrict: Keep your circle small.
⏰ Time: Keep your interactions brief.
💪🩹 Shots: Get your vaccine when it’s your turn!
The new variants are transmitted the same way as the first variant of SARS-CoV-2, and we can use the same layers of protection that we’ve been advocating all along to protect ourselves. Some of the new variants may be easier to transmit from person to person, so it is time to double-down on these proven strategies. And we now have another tool in our belt: vaccines!
We can all do our part to reduce transmission by using the layers of protection provided the classic #StaySMART strategies. And we can now also recommend that you get your vaccine when it’s your turn. #GoScience!
But do the vaccines we have now protect against the new variants? Generally, yes. There is some evidence that vaccine efficacy might be lower for some variants. But this is important: efficacy is not an on/off switch! The vaccines available now DO reduce serious outcomes by A LOT for the new variants.
That’s why Dear Pandemic in partnership with IMPACT is updating our COVID safety guidance: we’re using all our SMARTS. Here’s a handy, updated infographic to help you remember all the layers of protection.
ps. Want to know what kind of mask to wear? Here’s our advice.