Now, people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can spend time together indoors and unmasked, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday in its long-awaited guidance for what immunized people can safely do.
“We know that people want to get vaccinated so they can get back to doing the things they enjoy with the people they love,” Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, said in a statement.
This is the 1st federal public-health guidance from the agency aimed at providing a virus-weary nation a 1st step toward returning to normal activities.
Under the guidelines, vaccinated people can take fewer precautions in certain situations, including socializing indoors without masks when in the company of low-risk or other vaccinated individuals.
But the guidance still includes important safety precautions.
The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to wear well-fitted masks, avoid large gatherings, and physically distance themselves from others when out in public.
Health officials also advised vaccinated people to get tested if they develop symptoms that could be related to COVID-19.
The new CDC recommendations also stress that protection from the vaccine does not happen when a shot hits the arm.
The agency considers Americans “fully vaccinated” once 2 wks have passed since they received the final dose of their vaccine regimen, giving the body time to build antibodies against the virus.
In the case of vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer, which have been authorized for emergency use since December, that means 2 wks after the second of two shots.
For the recently authorized Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it means 2 wks after just 1 shot.
About 10% Americans are “fully vaccinated” with a federally authorized COVID-19 vaccine now, according to the CDC.
Have a healthy day, Keep the Faith!