US CDC unveils guidance for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Tuesday, 2021-03-09 09:58:46
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A health care worker administers a dose of COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a new vaccination site in the California Polytechnic State University in Pomona, Los Angeles County, California, the United States, Feb. 5, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)
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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued on Monday its first set of recommendations on activities that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely resume.

Fully vaccinated people can visit other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart, according to the guidelines.

Fully vaccinated people can visit unvaccinated people from one other household indoors without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart if everyone in the other household is at low risk for severe disease, said the CDC.

Meanwhile, fully vaccinated people can refrain from quarantine and testing if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 after contact with someone who has COVID-19.

The CDC defines people who are fully vaccinated as those who are two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine.

"This guidance represents a first step toward returning to everyday activities in our communities," said the CDC.

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

"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," she said.

A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection and are potentially less likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to other people, according to the CDC.

The agency encourages people to get vaccinated with the first available FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and to help bring the pandemic to a close.

There are three COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for emergency use in the United States by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA authorized the one developed by American drugmaker Pfizer in partnership with German company BioNTech, and another by American drugmaker Moderna, in December last year.

Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine was approved for emergency use on Feb. 27. It is the first single-dose vaccine authorized in the United States.

The vast majority of people need to be fully vaccinated before COVID-19 precautions can be lifted broadly. Until then, it is important that everyone continues to adhere to public health mitigation measures to protect the large number of people who remain unvaccinated, said the CDC.

Over 116 million vaccine doses have been distributed across the United States as of Monday, and more than 92 million doses have been administered, according to the latest CDC data.

Just 9.2 percent of the US population has been fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC estimated.