It’s been a tough year for all of us, but there’s good news on the Covid vaccine front! People who are fully vaccinated can finally start returning to some semblance of normalcy after a year of masks, quarantine, and social distancing. That’s right: We can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
According to new guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) this week, people who’ve gotten their Covid vaccinations can follow a number of more relaxed measures. People are considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna shot or two weeks after they get their single dose of the Johnson & Johnson shot.
These new measured for vaccinated Americans include:
- They can see other fully vaccinated American indoors without social distancing or wearing masks.
- They can visit people who aren’t vaccinated indoors without social distancing or wear masks — as long as the unvaccinated person is at low risk for severe Covid symptoms.
- They don’t have to quarantine or get tested if they’re exposed to Covid, as long as they’re asymptomatic.
That means that you can host an indoor get-together with some of your vaccinated friends again, and have your kids, grandchildren, and extended family over (and even give them hugs!) if they live close by and are at low risk for Covid. Those are big wins!
That said, if you’re fully vaccinated, it’s still important to generally follow quarantining, mask-wearing, and social distancing guidelines that experts have recommended for the past year in public. Try to meet people outside if you can, and keep rocking those fitted masks.
You should also still avoid larger gatherings, get tested if you’re experiencing Covid symptoms, and take precautions if you’re visiting unvaccinated people from multiple households. Additionally, the CDC made it clear that their travel guidance hasn’t changed; they’re strongly encouraging Americans to avoid non-essential travel, even if they’re fully vaccinated. (So unfortunately, if your family or friends live further away, you may need to wait a little longer.)
For now, vaccination priority is currently still being given to healthcare personnel, essential frontline workers, people over the age of 65, and adults of any age with pre-existing medical conditions, but President Joe Biden said earlier this month that he hopes to have vaccines available for all American adults by the end of May. (And if you’re looking to snag a vaccine appointment, here are a few tips for how to do that!)
While we still have a long way to go in terms of getting the country vaccinated — only about 17 percent of the population has received at least one Covid vaccine dose — the end is in sight!