The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday issued guidance for fully vaccinated people.
The guidance states that fully vaccinated people can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people in small groups without wearing masks or practicing physical distancing. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks or more after they received the second dose of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks or more after they received the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Fully vaccinated people can also visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease, indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing. For example, fully vaccinated grandparents can visit with their unvaccinated grandchildren, as long as their grandchildren do not have serious health conditions.
If fully vaccinated people have contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive, they do not need to isolate from others or get tested unless they have symptoms. However, the C.D.C. stipulates that individuals who live in group settings and are around someone who has COVID-19, should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if they exhibit no symptoms.
Fully vaccinated people should continue to wear a mask and maintain physical distance in public. They should mask, physically distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting unvaccinated people at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease, or who have an unvaccinated household member at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease, and when around unvaccinated people from multiple households.
Fully vaccinated people should also avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings.
The C.D.C. says domestic and international travel should be delayed but if travel cannot be avoided, then individuals should follow travel requirements and recommendations.
Though the vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19, particularly severe illness and death, questions remain about their effectiveness against variants. According to the C.D.C., “Early data show the vaccines may work against some variants but could be less effective against others.”
There is a growing body of evidence that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection and potentially less likely to transmit COVID-19 to others. However, given the need for additional research, preventive measures continue to be important during vaccine implementation.