It’s been two weeks since your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Congratulations! You’re considered fully vaccinated with great protection from the virus. But what now?
While the emotional burden of living without any protection has likely lifted, you’re probably asking: When can I get back to normal living? And what activities can I safely engage in for myself and others?
This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its first set of guidelines on what fully vaccinated people can now do. Here’s what CDC said:
If you’ve been fully vaccinated:
- You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
- You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
The CDC also says that at present, here’s what hasn’t changed for those fully vaccinated:
- You should still take steps to protect yourself and others in many situations, like wearing a mask, staying at least 6-feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. Take these precautions in public, gathering with unvaccinated people from more than one other household, and visiting with an unvaccinated person who is at increased risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 or who lives with a person at increased risk.
- You should still avoid medium or large-sized gatherings.
- You should still delay domestic and international travel. If you do travel, continue to follow CDC requirements and recommendations.
- You should continue to watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
- You still need to follow guidance at your workplace.
The bottom line: Keep your guard up. COVID-19 is still relatively new and, until we know more, every person — including people who’ve had both doses of their two-dose vaccines — should continue following basic public health measures, such as masking, washing hands, keeping 6 feet apart from others you don’t live with, and avoiding crowds and travel.