Your Face Mask Could Serve As A Crude Coronavirus Vaccine -- Until A Real Vaccine Is Available

A commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine published Tuesday posits wearing a facial mask may allow the wearer to be exposed to just enough of the coronavirus to provoke an immune response, serving as a crude vaccine. The commentary by Drs. Monica Gandhi and George W. Rutherford of the University of California, San Francisco, said the exposure could blunt the severity of the disease, ensuring a larger number of infections could remain asymptomatic. “If this hypothesis is borne out, universal masking could become a form of ‘variolation’ that would generate immunity and thereby slow the spread of the virus in the United States and elsewhere, as we await a vaccine,” the authors wrote.