By Sara Bondell - March 08, 2021
People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely visit with small groups from other households without masks or social distancing, even if those people have not yet had their shots, according to new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Because the risk of a vaccinated person contracting COVID-19 is low, the level of precautions taken during gatherings should be determined by the characteristics of those who are unprotected from COVID-19. If unvaccinated individuals are not at risk for severe COVID-19 infection, they can visit with vaccinated individuals indoors without wearing masks with a low risk of disease transmission. For example, if is safe for vaccinated grandparents to see their unvaccinated healthy children or grandchildren.
However, if any unvaccinated people are at increased risk of severe COVID-19, all attendees, including those who are vaccinated, should take precautions such as wearing a mask, physical distancing and visiting outdoors.
Regardless of vaccination status, the CDC still recommends wearing masks and practicing social distancing in public places and avoiding medium and large sized in-person gatherings. Everyone should be tested for COVID-19 if they are experiencing symptoms, even if they are vaccinated. However, a fully vaccinated person with no COVID-19 symptoms does not need to quarantine or be tested following a confirmed or suspected exposure.
So far, more than 90 million vaccine doses have been administered and about 10% of the U.S. population is considered fully vaccinated.