The more we learn…..

I have had many friends, family, patients, and community members reach out to me with this question: What’s the point of getting the vaccine if everyone still has to follow the same rules? 

This question doesn’t take into account the nuance of vaccination and the fact scientists and physicians fully expected to change their guidelines once they gathered more information about the vaccine. While know all three vaccines are equally and highly effective against COVID-related preventing hospitalization and death, the details on preventing disease spread were less clear. Now that we have more data in addition to the robust clinical trials, the CDC has been able to issue the new guideliens for the fully vaccinated.

People are considered fully vaccinated against COVID 2 weeks after their second dose of Moderna or Pfizer or 2 weeks after their dose of Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

 

People who are fully vaccinated can safely: 

  • HUG GRANDMA!! Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • ATTEND SMALL FAMILY GATHERINGS!! Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • GET A FREE PASS FROM QUARANTINE!! Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic

People who are fully vaccinated should still follow these recommendations:

  • Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
  • Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
  • Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

These recommendations may change in the future once we have more robust evidence on the effectiveness of the vaccines on preventing transmission of COVID19. That’s how science works: We study, analyze, learn, educate. Rinse. Repeat.

Much like the influenza vaccine, we are not vaccinating against COVID to prevent illness. We are vaccinating to prevent hospitalization and death. 

In the end, the most effective and safest way we will stop this pandemic is to vaccinate everyone who qualifies to get the vaccine.

When you are able to get the vaccine due to age, occupation, or chronic condition, do not worry about which vaccine you will get. The most important thing is to get that shot in your arm.

Resource

CDC Guidelines For the Fully Vaccinated 

 

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