CDC Covid guidelines lift restrictions for those who have taken the vaccine

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A healthcare worker administers the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, March 9, 2021, during a mass vaccination clinic held at Lake Michigan College’s Mendel Center in Benton Harbor, Mich. More than 2,000 doses were given to individuals by appointment during the largest clinic held by the Berrien County Health department to date.(Don Campbell/The Herald-Palladium via AP)

New guidelines were released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for those who are now fully vaccinated for COVID-19, according to the CDC website. 

These guidelines come as the CDC finds that vaccines, along with previously established safety measures, help to greatly reduce the risk of further infection spread. 

Evidence suggests the U.S. COVID-19 vaccination program has the potential to substantially reduce the burden of disease in the United States by preventing illness in fully vaccinated people and interrupting chains of transmission, according to the CDC website. 

“Preliminary results from the United Kingdom demonstrate that vaccination with two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was highly effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection and symptomatic COVID-19…” findings from a CDC Covid-19 brief said. “In the United States, efficacy was 74%…” 

They add that a growing body of evidence showed that fully vaccinated people are less likely to be asymptomatic and less likely to transmit the virus to others. 

The first set of recommendations include information on how fully vaccinated people can safely visit other fully vaccinated people or non-vaccinated people as well as how fully vaccinated people should approach isolation quarantine and testing. 

“Indoor visits between fully vaccinated people who do not wear masks or physically distance from one another are likely low risk,” a recommendation from the CDC website said. “For example, if you are fully vaccinated, it is a low risk for you to invite other fully vaccinated friends to dinner inside your private residence.” 

The list of activities fully vaccinated people are able to resume include visiting other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks, visiting unvaccinated people indoors without wearing masks if those who are unvaccinated are not at severe risk, and can refrain from testing if exposed to a known asymptomatic person. 

A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their last required dose of the vaccination, according to the website. 

The CDC still urges fully vaccinated people to follow guidelines previously put in place such as wearing a mask, remaining 6 feet apart, washing hands and avoiding large crowded gatherings. They also add that fully vaccinated people should still be on the lookout for symptoms of COVID-19 and should self-isolate and be clinically evaluated for COVID-19. 

“We know that people want to get vaccinated so they can get back to doing the things they enjoy with the people they love. There are some activities that fully vaccinated people can begin to resume now in their own homes,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky said. “Everyone — even those who are vaccinated — should continue with all mitigation strategies when in public settings. As the science evolves and more people get vaccinated, we will continue to provide more guidance to help fully vaccinated people safely resume more activities.” 

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