After receiving your two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or the one dosage of the Johnson & Johnson variety, you are officially fully vaccinated!
However, many people still need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as the process continues. So, the question is: What can you do and what can’t you do after vaccination?
You must first realize that life is not going right back to pre-2020 conditions just because you got your shots. But the Center for Disease Control (CDC) does have new guidelines on travel, social distancing and masks.
Here are the CDC’s guidelines on what you can and cannot do once vaccinated.
8. Socializing or Social Distancing?
The utmost question on people’s minds is: When will we be able to get out there and mingle? Well, the CDC agrees that it’s safer to meet when people are vaccinated, but guidelines are not the same if you meet with people who are not vaccinated.
You can gather indoors with other vaccinated people without wearing a mask. And you can gather with unvaccinated family or friends of a single household only and without a mask. These unvaccinated people must be those without underlying illness and are not at risk. This allows you to be on the safe side.
7. No Large Gatherings and Hugs
The CDC is advising against medium to large gatherings, fully vaccinated or not. It’s not necessary to tempt fate, knowing how dangerous and contagious the virus is.
In a single household of vaccinated people, hugging causes no risk. So family and friends who are vaccinated can, of course, hug. For someone who is low-risk, hugging is also low risk.
6. Masks After Vaccination
It would be best if you obeyed the laws and ordinances in your jurisdiction. Being vaccinated doesn’t exempt you. Yes, the CDC says you can socialize with one family in one household mask-less but advises to wear your mask in public or if you leave your house to run errands.
Continue to try and maintain 6-feet of social distance and wear a mask or face covering when you socialize with people from more than one household indoors. It’s also still important to wear your mask when you visit people of high risk.
Unless it’s absolutely essential, the CDC suggests you avoid domestic or international travel. Many borders are still closed against the US, so it’s best to stay put. If you must travel, you are still obligated to follow all the restrictions mandated by the airline or the location you are going to.
For example, wearing a mask (on the train, buses or any form of public transportation inside or outside the US) or doing a PCR test before arriving at your destination. This will vary from location to location.
If you travel within the US, you don’t need to get tested before or after travel. You also don’t have to be quarantined after travel. International travelers to the US who are fully vaccinated are still required to be tested within three days of arriving or show a document that they recovered from the virus within the past three months.
4. Quarantine and Vaccination
A fully vaccinated person does not have to quarantine anymore if that person comes into contact with a COVID-19 positive person and has no symptoms. If you have symptoms, however, you should self-quarantine and get tested immediately.
3. Choosing Safe Activities After Vaccination
Your dream has come true, and you are now fully vaccinated. You can officially resume most activities that you did before the pandemic. As stated on CDC’s website:
“Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
2. Continue Taking Precautions
Although you are vaccinated, you should continue to take precautions, especially around sick COVID-19 people. Follow the COVID-19 safety precautions at the workplace and in all public places.
None of the three vaccines are 100% effective, and the risk of a vaccinated person transmitting COVID-19 to others remains uncertain. Since there are still things the CDC doesn’t know, it is crucial to continue taking precautions.
1. What the CDC Still Doesn’t Know
As the US breathes a huge sigh of relief that vaccines are rolling out and we can enjoy life somewhat like we used to, the advice is still to follow the coronavirus protocol for safety.
Understandably, the CDC continues to learn how the various vaccines work against the slue of COVID-19 variances popping up. The vaccines may work well against some variants and may not work so well against others.
They are not yet sure how the vaccines will protect people with weakened immune systems, especially people who are taking immunosuppression medication.
It is also still uncertain to what extent the vaccines prevent people from spreading the disease or how long the vaccine can protect people. Until they know more, the CDC recommends that vaccinated people still take steps to protect themselves and those around them.
Normalcy is approaching!
You can now understand that there are gray areas still to be made clear as we all try to transition back to normalcy. Despite the unknown, we forge on bravely with optimism!