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Why some fully vaccinated people continue to wear masks

Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 7:45 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - On Wednesday, all COVID-19 health orders will end here in Ohio. But, that won’t mean the disappearance of masks.

Some people are continuing to wear one, despite being fully vaccinated. And there a number of reasons why you shouldn’t be so quick to judge.

For some, continuing to “mask up” even after getting the COVID-19 vaccine could be as simple as wanting to protect loved ones who aren’t vaccinated.

For others, like Nicholas Kelly, it’s a bit more complex.

Kelly’s resume is a mile long. He’s a dietician, artist and recently-published author. He’s also given a TEDx Talk and even made Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry tear up on national television.

Kelly’s also fully vaccinated. But you won’t see him ditching a mask, despite the CDC announcing last month that those who are fully vaccinated can now go without a mask in most indoor and outdoor settings.

Kelly has cystic fibrosis, a chronic lung disease that limits the ability to breathe over time. His new children’s, “The Adventures of Miss Messy Suzie McGoo and The Cuff Cough Crew,” is designed to educate kids with the disease.

“I was diagnosed at three months old,” said Kelly, who has been wearing masks his entire life, as a result of the disease. “You just get all the questions,” the 34-year-old told 19 News.

That’s something others who are also fully vaccinated are now having to deal with.

People wearing their masks have reasons why they are doing so. Continue to give people their space and be respectful of one another.

Posted by Macon County Health Department (Decatur, IL) on Thursday, May 20, 2021

About 3 to 4 percent of the U.S. population is immunocompromised, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. This group includes cancer patients and those who’ve had an organ transplant. Doctors warn that COVID-19 vaccines may not work fully for those with weakened immune systems.

Dr. Maria Budev is urging those with immune issues to continue being vigilant.

“We can’t judge a person you see wearing a mask,” said Budev, who is the medical director of the Cleveland Clinic Lung Transplant and Heart and Lung Transplant Program.

Dr. Budev says, no matter the reason, if a person chooses to wear a mask it’s no reason to judge.

That’s the message Kelly too hopes resonates with people.

“Everyone’s going through something. You never know what that something is.”

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