Did you get the COVID-19 Vaccine, Now What?
With people getting vaccinated in record numbers, hoping to return to the things we enjoyed pre-pandemic, there are a lot of questions… Now what? The guidelines have been pretty clear from the beginning.
- Wear a mask in public places
- Stay 6 feet/2 metres apart
- Wash your hands
- Don’t gather with anyone who doesn’t live in your home
However, now that we have a significant amount of people in the world getting vaccinated every day, how do we proceed? Do the guidelines change? After you’ve gotten that second shot, you should be fully protected, right? While scientists and doctors are still learning about how vaccines affect the spread of COVID-19, there are a few guidelines that loosen once you are fully vaccinated.
So let’s start there… what does it mean to be “fully vaccinated”?
The CDC defines this as two weeks after your second dose in a 2-dose series, like the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. It is important to note that if it has been less than two weeks since your SECOND dose, you are NOT fully protected.
Okay, I’m fully vaccinated. Now what?
The CDC says that once you’ve gotten that second dose and the two-week waiting period has passed, the guidelines open up.
Here’s what they say you can do once you are fully vaccinated:
- You can now gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without a mask
- You can now gather indoors with Unvaccinated people from ONE other household without masks
- If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others OR get tested unless you have symptoms
Some guidelines have NOT changed in some situations. You should still take steps to protect yourself and others by:
- Wearing a mask
- Staying 6 feet/2 metres apart
- Avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
- Avoiding medium or large gatherings
- Delaying domestic and international travel
- Being aware of and watching out for symptoms
- Following workplace guidance
These guidelines are especially important when you’re in public, gathering with unvaccinated people from more than one household and when visiting an unvaccinated person who might be at an increased risk for severe illness or death from COVID-19.
While the guidelines aren’t much different even when you’re vaccinated… They’re a little bit looser, which gives us hope that we are well on our way back to life before social distancing, mask-wearing, and general pandemic-ing.