The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has finally issued interim guidance and recommendations for those who are fully vaccinated. For the purposes of its guidance, the CDC considers an individual “fully vaccinated” after 2 weeks from their second dose of Pfizer/Moderna or their J&J single-dose vaccine.
The CDC says fully vaccinated individuals can:
- 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
- Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic
Notably, the CDC did not say that fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks. In fact, they doubled down on mask-wearing, saying fully vaccinated people should still:
- Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
- Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
- Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
- Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
There was no guidance as to travel for fully vaccinated people. Still, this is an important first step, and it signals the beginning of some return to normalcy after the pandemic.