With more than 105 million coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines administered across the U.S, many people are feeling more comfortable resuming some “normal” activities.
But what’s OK to do and what’s not?
Based on CDC guidelines, the AARP came up with 10 dos and don’ts for people who are fully vaccinated. If it has been two weeks since you received your last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, here’s what is allowed and not allowed:
1. You still need to wear a mask. Even though you may be almost fully protected against COVID-19, the coronavirus is still out there. And new and more contagious variants have emerged across the globe. Health experts say wearing masks and social distancing are still very important to help slow the spread of the virus.
2. You could still catch coronavirus. Even though all three approved vaccines have been touted as highly effective against severe disease and death from COVID-19, there’s still a chance you could get infected with the virus.
After two doses, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines proved to be about 95% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in clinical trials. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 72% effective in U.S. trials.
3. You could still infect someone else. Despite being fully vaccinated, there’s still a small chance that you could get infected with the virus and not realize it. Experts say, in that rare case, you could transmit it to someone who is not vaccinated.
4. You can visit friends and family. Fully vaccinated people can gather indoors together without wearing masks or social distancing, according to new CDC guidelines.
5. No need to quarantine after exposure. If you’ve been exposed to the virus, you no longer have to quarantine or get tested after an exposure as long as you aren’t experiencing any symptoms, the CDC says.
6. Keep your vaccine record card handy. You may need proof of vaccination to travel, work in certain industries or attend large events, like sports games or catered parties. If interested, you can sign up for the Excelsior Pass to verify your COVID-19 vaccination to gain entry to major events in New York.
7. Travel is still not a good idea. Even though airlines are reporting an increase in fliers, the CDC still recommends people refrain from traveling.
8. It’s a good time to go to the doctor or dentist. Many Americans held off doctors and dentist visits during the pandemic, but now may be the time to catch up on these important health appointments.
9. You may need a booster shot. Experts say a booster shot of the vaccine could be necessary if your immunity wears off or if the virus mutates so much that current vaccines no longer offer protection.
10. A return to normal is likely dependent on herd immunity. Before total normalcy can be restored, experts say we need to reach herd immunity. That will occur when enough Americans are vaccinated to greatly slow the spread of the coronavirus. Experts don’t expect to reach that point until at least summer — and it could take until early 2022.
— Tracey Porpora/PennLive via Associated Press