CDC Says Fully Vaccinated People Can Meet In Small Groups Without Masks


People who are fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus can meet privately in small groups without masks or physical distancing, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which relaxes safety guidelines for inoculated people in some circumstances.

The CDC said Monday that fully vaccinated people should continue to take precautions in most circumstances to prevent the spread of the virus that causes Covid-19. People who are fully immunized should continue to wear masks and stay away from others in public or while visiting unvaccinated people at increased risk of severe Covid-19 cases, the CDC said.

Vaccinated people may still be able to become infected with the virus and pass it on to others who are at risk for serious illness, public health experts say. But early research suggests that, in addition to protecting against severe cases of Covid-19 that could lead to hospitalization or death, licensed vaccines likely also make people less vulnerable to infection and potentially less likely to spread the virus. , the CDC said.

Understanding the Coronavirus

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

The CDC published its guide for vaccinated people, as more than 90 million injections of Covid-19 have been administered in the US, allowing people who have been vaccinated to navigate through life during the pandemic with that extra layer of protection against viruses. More than 17% of the US population has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to CDC data, and just over 9% of the population has received two injections.

A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the two-shot vaccines manufactured by Pfizer. Inc.

and BioNTech SE as well as Moderna Inc.,

or two weeks after receiving the single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The CDC said that people who are fully vaccinated against the virus can visit unvaccinated members of a single household without wearing masks or maintaining social distancing as long as those people are at low risk for severe Covid-19 cases. Vaccinated people do not need to self-quarantine or receive a Covid-19 test after being exposed to the virus if they do not have any symptoms, the CDC said.

Vaccinated people are also less likely to become infected during activities such as eating indoors or going to the gym, the CDC said, although people should follow safety precautions in those circumstances.

“We know that people want to get vaccinated so they can get back to doing the things they enjoy with the people they love,” said Dr. Walensky.

For now, the CDC said, everyone should avoid gatherings larger than small groups of people, regardless of their vaccination status. The CDC did not update its travel guide for vaccinated people, which includes avoiding nonessential travel and wearing masks on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation.

Alerts and web browser tools can help you book an appointment for the Covid-19 vaccine. WSJ’s Joanna Stern caught up with Kris Slevens, an IT guy who has booked over 300 appointments for New Jersey seniors, to learn the best tricks for competing in the Vaccine Reserve Hunger Games. Photo Illustration: Emil Lendof for The Wall Street Journal

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