WASHINGTON — I got the COVID-19 vaccine. What can I safely do?
You can enjoy small gatherings again, but should continue wearing a mask and social distancing in public.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fully vaccinated people can gather maskless with other vaccinated people indoors. It also says you can meet with unvaccinated people from one household at a time, if those people are considered at low risk of severe COVID-19.
In public, the CDC recommends that vaccinated people continue wearing masks, avoid large gatherings and stay apart from others.
A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine.
Guidance on other activities for vaccinated people remains cautious. The CDC still discourages unnecessary travel, for example, and hasn't yet made a recommendation about going to restaurants or other places..
The CDC expects to update the guidance to allow more activities as infections decline and vaccinations increase.
One reason to keep your guard up after getting one dose of a two-dose vaccine: infection while having partial protection sets up the potential for the virus to mutate, said Dr. Joshua LaBaer, director of the Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
The United States has more than 29 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
As of Thursday, the U.S. had more than 538,000 deaths from the virus. Worldwide, there are more than 121 million confirmed cases with more than 2.6 million deaths.