Understanding how COVID-19 precautions ease after vaccination

A COVID-19 vaccine clinic (Cleveland Clinic News Service)

We’re finally starting to get some freedom from COVID-19, thanks to the vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced fewer restrictions for people who are fully vaccinated.

But who, exactly, falls into that group?

“If you’ve been vaccinated and you’ve received either two Pfizer or two Moderna vaccines, or one of the Johnson & Johnson’s, and it’s been two weeks after you received your last dose then you’re considered fully vaccinated,” said Kristin Englund, MD, an infectious disease specialist with Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Englund said the updated guidelines give people with a full vaccine series a break from some COVID-19 restrictions.

According to the CDC, vaccinated people no longer need to quarantine or be tested for COVID-19 if they’ve been exposed to the virus, as long as they don’t have symptoms.

Also, people who are vaccinated are now permitted to visit unvaccinated people from a single household indoors, without a mask.

That means vaccinated grandparents can safely visit their grandchildren.

And small groups of vaccinated people can gather as well.

“If you and one other person have been fully vaccinated, or even a small group, and a small group we talk about just a handful of people, you don’t have to wear masks anymore when you’re indoors,” Dr. Englund said.

Dr. Englund added, it’s important to note post-vaccination guidelines are only for small gatherings with people you know.

Masks and social distancing are still required in public places, including healthcare settings, and when interacting with strangers.