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CDC issues post vaccination guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidelines this week with tips for Americans who are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The release aims to provide citizens with advice about how to protect themselves and others once they are fully inoculated.

The release says fully vaccinated individuals will be able start to do some of the things they had stopped doing because of the pandemic. However, safety precautions are still a factor.

Residents are advised health officials are still learning how vaccines affect the spread of COVID-19. As a result, the CDC recommends to continue mitigation strategies after being vaccinated against the virus, including wearing masks in public places, staying six feet apart from others and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces until more is known inoculation and virus transmission.

But what does it mean to be fully vaccinated, anyway?

According to the CDC, a person is considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Individuals are not considered protected from the virus if it has been less than two weeks since their shot or they have not received their second dose.

According to the CDC, if you’ve been fully vaccinated, you can now gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.

You can also gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household, for example, when visiting relatives who all live together, without masks. However, this should still be avoided if any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

If you are fully vaccinated and have been around someone who has COVID-19, the CDC cites you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you are displaying symptoms. However, if you live in a group setting such as a correctional facility or group home and are around someone with COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, regardless of the presence of symptoms.

The CDC still recommends fully vaccinated individuals continue to protect themselves and others by wearing a mask, socially distancing and avoiding crowds or badly ventilated spaces whenever in public, gathering with unvaccinated people from more than one other household or visiting with an unvaccinated person who is at an increased risk of illness of death from contracting the coronavirus or lives with someone at an increased risk.

Individuals are advised to still avoid medium- or large-sized gatherings, delay domestic and international travel and watch out for symptoms of the coronavirus.

Fully vaccinated people are also advised they will still need to follow guidance at their place of work.

CDC officials highlight while it is known that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing the COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death as a result of the virus, health officials are still learning how effective the vaccines are against other variants of the coronavirus.

Early data shows some vaccines may work against some variants but could be less effective against others.

There is still much to be known about how vaccines help to keep people from spreading COVID-19. Officials are also still learning how long the vaccines can protect people, and the CDC will continue to update its recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people as time goes on.