The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has modified their recommendations for individuals who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The radical lifestyle changes we have all taken on to mitigate the spread of the pandemic have left many wondering if life will ever go back to ‘normal’. The CDC says that is exactly what the vaccine will allow you to do, with a few common-sense caveats.
First, it is important to understand what it means to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The CDC considers an individual fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after the administration of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine. It is recommended that individuals continue to take precautions like masking and social distancing until 14 days after the final injection.
After that though, life can go largely back to normal. If you’ve been fully vaccinated, there is no need for masks or social distancing indoors or outdoors, unless you will be interacting with people who are at a high risk or live with someone who is. Even if you have been around someone with the virus, there is no need to isolate or take extra precautions, provided you are not showing any symptoms.
For now, the CDC recommends that you continue to wear your mask in indoor public settings and when using public transportation like planes, buses, etc. International travelers are still required to get tested for COVID-19, even if they have been vaccinated.
The CDC is still learning how the vaccine protects against variants of the virus and how well it protects individuals with weakened immune systems. It is also unclear how well the vaccine helps to prevent people from spreading the disease, although early data suggests that the vaccines may help. It is also still unclear how long the vaccine is effective.
As more is learned about the virus, the vaccines and its variants, the CDC will undoubtedly continue to modify their recommendations. Use your best judgement and stay safe!