The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidance for people who have been fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine. Such individuals have been given the go-ahead to resume many activities that have been on hold since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to the CDC, people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, like the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. According to the guidance, people who have been fully vaccinated:
- Can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
- Can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- Do not need to avoid others or get tested if they’ve been around someone who has COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. However, those who live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19 should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if they don’t have symptoms.
What Hasn’t Changed
For now, people who have been fully vaccinated should still take steps to protect themselves and others, like wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. These precautions should be taken when:
- In public
- Gathering with unvaccinated people from more than one other household
- Visiting with an unvaccinated person who is at increased risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 or who lives with a person at increased risk
Additionally, the CDC says fully vaccinated people should avoid medium or large-sized gatherings, delay travel, watch out for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow the applicable guidance at their workplace.
What This Means
As we learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, the CDC will continue to update its recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Until there is more information about COVID-19, everyone—even people who are fully vaccinated—should continue taking basic prevention steps when recommended. We will continue to keep you updated on any noteworthy developments.