Story at a glance
- People who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can mingle indoors with others who have been fully vaccinated, per new CDC guidelines.
- While in public, fully vaccinated individuals must continue to follow health care protocols.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its first set of guidelines Monday for individuals who have received full doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, specifically noting that fully vaccinated people are able to visit other fully vaccinated individuals without having to wear masks or maintaining a distance of 6 feet.
Vaccinated individuals can also resume visiting unvaccinated people from one other household while indoors without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart, as long as no one in that household is at high risk for a serious illness.
They can also refrain from quarantining and testing if they don’t have COVID-19 symptoms following an encounter with a person who tests positive for the virus.
“Currently authorized vaccines in the United States are highly effective at protecting vaccinated people against symptomatic and severe COVID-19,” the new guidance states. “Additionally, a growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection and potentially less likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others.”
The studies referenced offer insights into available COVID-19 vaccines’ efficacy.
Preliminary data from the U.S., U.K. and Israel suggest that the widely approved two-dose mRNA vaccine is “highly effective” against a COVID-19 infection.
Those who did contract COVID-19 following a complete vaccine dose were found to suffer less severe infections as opposed to those who did not receive a vaccine. This evidence provides hope that the virus will be less transmissible among populations who have been vaccinated.
CDC officials add, however, that fully vaccinated people should continue to don masks in public and follow all public health protocols, continue to avoid large crowds and get tested if any COVID-19 symptoms develop.
National data reports that 92.1 million vaccines have been administered across the U.S., amounting to roughly 31.3 million people who are considered fully inoculated.
This is estimated to be just 9.4 percent of the U.S. population.
“While the new guidance is a positive step, the vast majority of people need to be fully vaccinated before COVID-19 precautions can be lifted broadly,” CDC officials stated. “Until then, it is important that everyone continues to adhere to public health mitigation measures to protect the large number of people who remain unvaccinated.”