Man hugs his grandchildren after receiving a COVID vaccine

CDC: What You Can Do Once You Receive Your COVID Vaccine 

More freedom to socialize and a return to routine activities are among the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, under guidelines released March 8 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Once you are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19, it’s considered safe to visit indoors with others who are fully vaccinated or at a low risk for severe illness without wearing masks or physically distancing, according to the CDC 

Here’s how long it takes to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19:  

  • At least two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines  
  • At least two weeks after receiving the single shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine  

Here are three things people can do once they are fully vaccinated:  

1. Visit indoors with others who are fully vaccinated without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart  

2. Visit indoors with others who are not vaccinated from a single household who are at a low risk for severe COVID-19 without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart  

3. Quarantine and testing are no longer needed if exposed to COVID-19 and not showing symptoms  

For now, the CDC recommends individuals who are fully vaccinated continue to follow these best practices: 

  • 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 
  • Continue to avoid crowds, avoid poorly ventilated spaces, cover coughs and sneezes and frequently wash hands 

These guidelines will be updated by the CDC in the future as more individuals become fully vaccinated and vaccine technology advances.  

This content has been reviewed and approved by Dr. S. George Kipa, deputy chief medical officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

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Photo credit: Portra

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