Vaccinated? Ditch the Mask, Says CDC Guidelines

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Man vaccinating a woman
CDC issues guidelines for vaccinated individuals. Source: Getty Images

The recently issued CDC guidelines state that vaccinated individuals can meet each other without a mask in indoor settings.

On Monday, 8th March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its first guidelines for vaccinated individuals. The guidelines are applicable to those who have either received both doses of a vaccine, or a single-dose vaccine, two weeks prior. This means that 2 weeks earlier they either received both doses of Pfizer, Moderna vaccine, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Approximately 30 million people in the US have received their complete vaccination dose. On the other hand, approximately 64 million have received at least one dose. According to CDC’s director, Rochelle Walensky, the country is on its way to end the pandemic. As vaccination programs continue to progress in the country, the issued guidelines will help people resume their everyday activities.

With more and more people getting vaccinated each day, we are starting to turn a corner. And as more Americans are vaccinated, a growing body of evidence now tells us that there are some activities that fully vaccinated people can resume at low risk to themselves.

Rochelle P. Walensky, Director of the CDC

As per guidelines, fully vaccinated individuals can meet each other in indoor settings without the need for a mask or physical distancing. They can also meet unvaccinated individuals from one other household indoors without masks or physical distancing. That is only if people in the other household are at low risk for severe COVID-19. However, the CDC does not recommend meeting unvaccinated high-risk individuals. For example, those over 65 years of age or people with diabetes, cancer, or heart disease.

Additionally, upon contact with an infected individual, they don’t need to quarantine or undergo testing if they don’t have any symptoms.

Public Measures Remain Same

Although the vaccines don’t provide 100% protection from developing COVID-19, they do reduce the chance of infection and the severity of the illness. However, there is a small risk that vaccinated individuals can develop a mild or asymptomatic infection. Therefore, the CDC says there are some measures that remain the same. For example, in public, vaccinated individuals will still need to wear a mask and maintain a distance of 6 feet. Moreover, they should avoid group settings and visiting unvaccinated individuals from multiple other households.

There are some activities that fully vaccinated people can begin to resume now in their own homes. Everyone – even those who are vaccinated – should continue with all mitigation strategies when in public settings. As science evolves and more people get vaccinated, we will continue to provide more guidance to help fully-vaccinated people safely resume more activities.

Rochelle P. Walensky, Director of the CDC

CDC’s guidelines are based on the fact that the vaccines provide some protection against the coronavirus variants. Moreover, experts suggest that vaccinated individuals are less likely to spread infection. However, if the variants begin reinfecting people, the measures may become stricter.

Unfortunately, travelling is still not permissible under the new guidelines.

The full guidelines are available here.

Reference:

CDC Issues First Set of Guidelines on How Fully Vaccinated People Can Visit Safely with Others.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 Mar. 2021.

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