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Fully vaccinated people can safely resume certain activities. On March 8, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced updated COVID-19 guidelines for immunized Americans.
Almost a year ago the SARS-CoV-2 invaded the United States. Within days, the WHO declared the novel coronavirus a global pandemic — March 11, 2020. At the time, little was known about the disease first discovered in Wuhan, China.
Researchers at the WHO and CDC have worked tirelessly to uncover the secrets of the virus and keep the public informed. As science is not exact, there were times when these agencies seemed to release contradictory information. Each discovery was a stepping stone bringing the U.S. Health officials’ announcement of activities an immunized person can safely resume.
Changes for Fully Vaccinated Americans
Two weeks after receiving the second dose in a 2-dose series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or a single-dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine a person can gather indoors without a mask under the following circumstances:
- The others at the get-together are also fully vaccinated.
- The gathering is with unvaccinated people from one household unless any of them falls under the increased risk for a severe illness from the disease.
After coming in contact with someone who had COVID-19, the CDC says a fully inoculated person does not need to quarantine or be tested unless experiencing symptoms.
If living in a congregate setting, like an assisted living facility or detention center, and exposed to another person who is infected, the guidelines are different.
Health officials recommend staying away for 14 days and be tested — even if no symptoms are present.
What Has Not Changed for Fully Vaccinated Americans
The need to take steps to protect others and one’s self remains important, reports CDC officials. Wearing a mask, staying six feet away from others, avoiding crowds especially in poorly ventilated areas are necessary precautions whenever:
- In public areas.
- Gatherings including unvaccinated individuals from more than one other household.
- Visiting an unvaccinated person who is in a high-risk category for infection or lives with a person at increased risk.
CDC officials advise people to continue to avoid medium to large gatherings, no matter their vaccination status. Moreover, they recommend delaying domestic or international travel. However, if travel is a must, then follow the CDC requirements.
Even though a person is fully vaccinated, they are not exempt from following their employers’ guidelines.
‘What We Know and What We’re Still Learning’
The CDC knows the COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing the virus, especially severe illness and death. However, they do know how well the inoculations will work against the virus’s mutations. Studies indicate mixed results about the vaccines’ effectiveness.
Also known is taking the recommended precautions remains as important in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Scientists are still learning how well the shots keep people from spreading the virus. Early results indicate the injections might help reduce the spread.
“As we know more, CDC will continue to update our recommendations.”
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
CDC: CDC Issues First Set of Guidelines on How Fully Vaccinated People Can Visit Safely with Others
CDC: How to Protect Yourself and Others When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated
Images Courtesy of cassandra lj’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Chris Zúniga’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License