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I’m Vaccinated. Now What?

By California Chronic Care Coalition

March 14, 2021

As we approach the one-year anniversary of pandemic-caused lockdowns across the country, vaccines provide a guiding light leading Californians out of a dark season.

More and more Americans have been getting vaccinated – at the time of writing, over 100 million doses have been administered. But it’s important to note that one or even two doses does not quite mean a return to normalcy for most. To aid in absolving some confusion for the public, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared new guidance for fully vaccinated people.

Firstly, a person is considered to be “fully vaccinated” at least two weeks after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots, or at least two weeks after receiving the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) shot. You are not fully protected after one shot, or immediately after your second dose. But if you are fully vaccinated, there are activities you can start to be a part of while keeping risk levels low.

Between other fully vaccinated people, masks, social distancing, or remaining outdoors only is not necessary. However, it is not yet known how the vaccines protect against transmission. This means that people, even if fully vaccinated, need to continue taking precautions to protect others. This also means that if you are fully vaccinated, it is recommended to visit only those at low-risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19 in small groups.

Generally, the kind of precautions that need to take place is determined by the level of risk of unvaccinated members of a group. For example, while two vaccinated people can take off their mask and be close indoors, if an unvaccinated person is present, prior guidance takes precedent. 

If a vaccinated person visits a single household, and no one is at risk for severe illness, no one needs to wear a mask or keep physical distance. However, if a vaccinated person visits someone who is high risk, both parties should keep six feet space, be outside, and wear tight-fitting masks. Also, if a group with multiple households gets together, everyone should take the same precautions – staying outdoors, wearing masks, and social distancing.

Gatherings any larger are still not recommended, and the CDC advises caution for higher risk activities like eating indoors or going to the gym, even for fully vaccinated people. As time goes on and the data paints a clearer picture, this guidance will be updated.

To learn more, click here.

If you would like to be notified when it is your turn to get a COVID-19 vaccine, click here.

Stay Safe, Stay Well, Stay the Distance