For the first time, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Monday, March 8 released guidelines on what activities are now considered safe for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The first-of-its-kind guidance relates specifically to gatherings, quarantine, and testing.
“It’s very encouraging to have the CDC provide constant and updated guidance as this pandemic continues to evolve,” says Millennium Physician Group’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alejandro Perez-Trepichio. “As larger numbers of people receive full vaccination it is important not to underestimate the role of continuing the mitigation measures as needed in order to succeed in stopping the pandemic
We must recognize these guidelines apply only to people fully vaccinated against COVID; clarifying that people are considered fully vaccinated if 2 weeks or more have passed since they received their second dose (in a 2-dose series) for Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or a single-dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.)
The recommendations state that fully-vaccinated people can spend time with unvaccinated people indoors, with no mask, as long as those who are not vaccinated are at low-risk for severe COVID-19.
The guidelines further clarify that fully-vaccinated people may now:
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- 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
- No need to quarantine or be tested following a COVID exposure while remaining asymptomatic
The federal agency also includes several reminders for vaccinated people to help prevent the chance of spreading and contacting COVID-19. The new guidance is specific to relaxed regulations that vaccinated people can enjoy in their own homes, but the agency warns that everyone, even those who are vaccinated, should continue to follow recommended guidelines in public settings, including wearing masks.
Medical experts say getting people vaccinated is key to reaching herd immunity. “The goal is to try and vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible,” says Dr. Perez-Trepichio, adding, “Everyone who’s been vaccinated or is getting vaccinated should follow the recommendations so we can continue to help slow the spread of COVID-19.”
The CDC says that this guidance will be updated and expanded based on the level of community spread of COVID-19, the proportion of the population that is fully vaccinated, and the rapidly evolving science on COVID-19 vaccines.