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What can and can't people do after being fully vaccinated?

This article was published on
April 21, 2021

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The U.S. C.D.C. recommends that fully protected people should continue to wear masks in public, stay six feet apart and avoid crowded and poorly ventilated spaces. Fully vaccinated people can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing masks. Fully vaccinated people can gather indoors with one household of unvaccinated people if they are at a low-risk of severe COVID-19 illness. After exposure to COVID-19 infected person, quarantine and testing are not needed unless symptomatic. However, those living in group settings need to quarantine and get tested after a known COVID-19 exposure. The CDC recommends avoiding medium or large gatherings, delay domestic and international travel, or follow CDC requirements and recommendations if you must travel.

The U.S. C.D.C. recommends that fully protected people should continue to wear masks in public, stay six feet apart and avoid crowded and poorly ventilated spaces. Fully vaccinated people can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing masks. Fully vaccinated people can gather indoors with one household of unvaccinated people if they are at a low-risk of severe COVID-19 illness. After exposure to COVID-19 infected person, quarantine and testing are not needed unless symptomatic. However, those living in group settings need to quarantine and get tested after a known COVID-19 exposure. The CDC recommends avoiding medium or large gatherings, delay domestic and international travel, or follow CDC requirements and recommendations if you must travel.

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What our experts say

While the COVID-19 vaccine protects individuals from getting very sick with symptoms of the disease, vaccinated people could still get infected with COVID-19 and spread it to others. The effects of the vaccine on the spread of COVID-19 are being researched. Until then, fully protected people should continue to wear masks in public, stay six feet apart and avoid crowded and poorly ventilated spaces.

The U.S. C.DC. says that fully vaccinated people may gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing masks. When gathering indoors with unvaccinated people from another household, these unvaccinated people should not, in turn, be interacting with others who might be at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you interact with someone who has COVID-19 and you live in a group setting with other people, then you should stay away from others for 14 days and get tested. However, if you're not living in a group setting, you don’t need to quarantine or get tested unless you have symptoms. The CDC recommends that you still avoid medium or large gatherings and delay domestic and international travel (or follow CDC requirements and recommendations if you must travel).

Context and background

As per the U.S. DC, you are fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and two weeks after the single-dose Johnson& Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. A person is not considered fully vaccinated and protected before that time.

The COVID-19 vaccine protects you from getting very sick with symptoms of the disease. Vaccinated people could still get infected and spread it to others. The effects of the vaccine on the spread of COVID-19 are not fully known and as more people get vaccinated, it is being continuously studied.

Resources

  1. When You've been fully vaccinated (US CDC)
  2. Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People (US CDC)
  3. Science Brief: Background Rationale and Evidence for Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People (US CDC)

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