CDC Releases New Guidelines For Vaccinated Americans
By Jason Hall
March 8, 2021
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines for fully vaccinated Americans on Monday (March 8.)
The new guidelines, which provide details on what vaccinated Americans can and cannot do in relation to visiting other vaccinated people and small groups of unvaccinated individuals, will be announced at the White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing scheduled for Monday, CNN reports.
The CDC defines fully vaccinated individuals as being two weeks past their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, or two weeks past the single-dose of the newer Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
There is growing evidence that individuals who are vaccinated will not spread COVID-19, but scientists are still trying to learn more about how long protection lasts.
"The level of precautions taken should be determined by the characteristics of the unvaccinated people, who remain unprotected against COVID-19," the guidelines stated via CNN.
According to the CDC, fully vaccinated Americans are permitted to do the following:
- Visit other vaccinated individuals indoors without masks or physical distancing.
- Visit indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household without masks or physical distancing as long as the unvaccinated individual is at low risk for severe disease.
- Skip quarantine and/or testing if exposed to another individual who has COVID-19 but is asymptomatic, although advised to monitor symptoms for 14 days.
Fully vaccinated individuals are still advised to take the following precautions, according to the new guidelines:
- Wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines around unvaccinated individuals who are at a high risk for severe COVID-19, or if the unvaccinated person lives with an individual who is at a higher risk.
- Wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines when visiting an unvaccinated people from multiple households.
Additionally, fully vaccinated individuals are advised to take basic safety precautions which include wearing a mask that fits well, keeping physical distance in public, avoiding medium- and large-size crowds, avoiding poorly ventilated public areas, washing hands frequently, and getting a COVID-19 test if they feel sick.
Fully vaccinated people who live in a non-health care congregate setting are advised to quarantine for 14 days and get tested if they are exposed to another individual with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case.
The guidelines also specify that the risk of infection during social activities such as going to a gym or restaurant are lower for fully vaccinated individuals, however, precautions should still be taken in these settings as there is still a higher transmission risk for unvaccinated people.
The CDC has not changed its travel recommendations for the unvaccinated as there are still high case numbers nationwide.
"The benefits of reducing social isolation and relaxing some measures such as quarantine requirements may outweigh the residual risk of fully vaccinated people becoming ill with Covid-19 or transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to others," the guidelines stated via CNN. "There are several activities that fully vaccinated people can resume now, at low risk to themselves, while being mindful of the potential risk of transmitting the virus to others."
CNN reports there are now 30 million Americans who are fully vaccinated as of Monday.
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