Vaccines are a hot topic everywhere right now. Which one should you get? Is it safe? And the No. 1 question — can life get back to normal? Once you’re fully vaccinated, you can begin to enjoy some of your favorite activities and gather with others. But the COVID-19 vaccine isn’t a free pass to do everything as usual quite yet. There are still several safety practices to follow that can keep yourself and others safe.
Safe Activities After Being Fully Vaccinated
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists what you can safely do when fully vaccinated. You can:
- Be indoors without a mask or social distancing with those that are fully vaccinated.
- Visit others that aren’t vaccinated and not at risk for severe illness without wearing a mask.
- Travel domestically and internationally without a COVID-19 test or quarantining.
These activities are a big step in the right direction compared to stay-at-home orders, curfews and tight restrictions. But some safety measures remain in place.
It’s important to still wear a mask around those at risk for severe illness from COVID-19. You should still follow the 3 W’s — wear a mask, wash your hands and wait at least 6 feet from others. If you’ve been around someone who’s sick, you should still watch out for any symptoms. You should also get tested and quarantine away from others to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 or any other illness.
Keep in mind that some COVID-19 safety precautions such as curfews, workplace safety guidelines and travel will vary. You should still expect to follow these restrictions unless stated otherwise. The CDC also warned that those traveling to the U.S. will still be required to get tested three days before traveling and three to five days after returning.
What We Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine
The CDC is sure that COVID-19 vaccines effectively prevent COVID-19, severe illness and death. However, researchers are still studying how effective the vaccine is against other COVID-19 variants. Research is also being conducted to determine how long the vaccine protects people and how well it protects people from getting sick. Look out for more information and updates on what the vaccine means for you.
Researchers are still looking closely at vaccine side effects and safety concerns. After you’re vaccinated, you can use V-safe to track your side effects, get reminders about your second dose appointment and get help post-vaccination from the CDC.
The Bottom Line
Remember, you’re considered fully vaccinated two weeks after a two-dose vaccine, such as Moderna or Pfizer, or a one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Most importantly, remember that you can still get COVID-19 after you’re fully vaccinated. You can also spread the virus to others. Follow the 3 W’s and look for further guidance from experts to help keep you and others safe, especially until there’s herd immunity.