As the COVID-19 vaccination rollout continues to speed up around the country, the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) released its first set of recommendations for fully vaccinated people on March 8, 2021.

Jerry Zuckerman, M.D., vice president of infection prevention and control at Hackensack Meridian Health helps explain these new guidelines, adding, “We all look forward to resuming our everyday activities and connecting with family and friends, and these recommendations are a good starting point to get us there.”

Here’s what you should know about the CDC’s new recommendations for fully vaccinated people.

Who’s Considered Fully Vaccinated

The CDC defines “fully vaccinated” as people who:

  • Are two weeks past their second dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine OR
  • Are two weeks past a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine

What Fully Vaccinated People Can Do

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or social distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or social distancing
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing after a known exposure if they are asymptomatic
Mother and child with face mask and hand sanitizer
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What Fully Vaccinated People Should Continue to Do

According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people should continue to:

  • Wear a mask and social distance when in public
  • Wear a mask and social distance when visiting unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
  • Wear a mask and social distance when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
  • Avoid medium and large in-person gatherings
  • Get tested if you experience COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow the guidance of individual employers
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and restrictions

Who’s Considered at Increased Risk

Some people are more likely than others to become severely ill from COVID-19:

  • Older adults
  • Pregnant women
  • People with medical conditions, such as cancer, heart conditions, obesity, COPD and Type 2 diabetes

It’s important to note that these guidelines were developed for non health care settings. If you’re working or visiting someone in a hospital or other health care setting, such as a long term care facility or doctor’s office, masking and social distancing requirements remain, regardless of your vaccination status.

Guidance will continue to evolve as we learn more about the effectiveness of the vaccines, their impact on transmission and duration of protection. It may also change as larger percentages of the population get vaccinated.

“As more and more people become fully vaccinated, we are no doubt headed in the right direction,” Dr. Zuckerman says. “But remember, we’re not out of this yet. Fully vaccinated people should closely follow the CDC recommendations to continue helping stop the spread of the virus.”

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