CDC: Vaccinated People Can Have Small Indoor Gatherings With Each Other

by Erica Gerald Mason
Klaus Vedfelt/Getty

In welcome news, the public health agency has updated guidelines for vaccinated people

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new guidance for people who have been completely vaccinated against Covid-19. The news comes as a welcome step as the country begins to tiptoe back to pre-pandemic living after a year of community shutdowns and restrictions due to the virus.

“There are some activities that fully vaccinated people can begin to resume now in the privacy of their own homes. Everyone — even those who are vaccinated — should continue with all mitigation strategies when in public settings,” says CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CNBC reports.

The new protocols say vaccinated people can visit with other vaccinated people – indoors without wearing masks or practicing social distancing. Someone is thought of as vaccinated two weeks after either a single shot of Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine or two weeks after their second shot of either Moderna’s or Pfizer’s two-dose regimens.

So far 58.9 million people have received at least one shot, with about 30 million of those people receiving both doses, which accounts for just over 9% of the population, according to the CDC. The agency did not disclose which vaccines people received.

The hope is the new guidelines will inspire more people to get vaccinated.

Good news for families who miss bonding with their grandparents. “For example, fully vaccinated grandparents can visit indoors with their unvaccinated healthy daughter and her healthy children without wearing masks or physical distancing, provided none of the unvaccinated family members are at risk of severe COVID-19,” the CDC guidance advises.

So many of us miss our grandparents.

A fully vaccinated person does not have to quarantine or test for Covid-19 if exposed to someone with the virus if they do not show symptoms, the CDC says. Vaccinated people should seek isolated care if they begin to experience symptoms and be tested for the Covid-19.

No matter whether a person has received vaccines against the virus, everyone should still refrain from traveling.

“In terms of travel, here’s what we know: Every time there’s a surge in travel, we have a surge in cases in this country,” Walensky said at a White House Covid-19 press briefing. “We’re hopeful that our next set of guidance will have more science around what vaccinated people can do, perhaps travel being among them.”

While a growing body of evidence suggests that people who are inoculated against Covid-19 are less likely to transmit the disease to others, it’s still not known how long someone’s protection might last or the effectiveness of the shots against emerging Covid-19 variants, the CDC said in a statement.

“While the new guidance is a positive step, many more people need to be fully vaccinated before everyone can stop taking most COVID-19 precautions,” the CDC said. “It is important that, until then, everyone continues to adhere to important mitigation measures to protect the large number of people who remain unvaccinated.”

The CDC will continue to update guidance for vaccinated individuals as more Americans receive shots, Walensky said.