Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19? What Activities Can I Resume?

Mar 16 6:30am | Dr. Anne Shandera-Ochsner, HABIT Midwest Director | @dranneshanderaochsner | Comments (17)

masksdownAs a healthcare provider, I am fortunate to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Increasingly, I’ve been noticing that most of my patients in the 65+ age group in my clinical practice have completed 1 or both doses of the vaccines as well. If you’re in this lucky group and have been following the social distancing and masking guidance for the past year, you are likely wondering what your vaccine means for resuming some activities you have avoided for so long!

Well, hot off the press – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on March 8, 2021  released long-awaited detailed guidance for “fully vaccinated” persons. A person is classified as fully vaccinated “≥ 2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or ≥2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson/Janssen).”

The main change is that fully vaccinated persons may now get together in small gatherings in a private home with other fully vaccinated people without wearing masks or social distancing. In addition, fully vaccinated people can gather with one unvaccinated household without masks or social distancing as long as the unvaccinated household is at low risk of complications from COVID-19.

In real world terms, this means that if you and your spouse are fully vaccinated, not only can you host your fully vaccinated next door neighbors for dinner without extra safety precautions, but you could also visit your healthy but unvaccinated son and daughter-in-law and grandkids at their home without masks or social distancing. This is a BIG DEAL!

We know that social interactions are a key component of brain health, and we have all felt the toll that the pandemic has had on this area of wellbeing. For people with mild cognitive impairment, that toll can be even greater, given that technologies like video calls and texting are sometimes confusing to learn.

In addition to family visits, consider social and brain-building activities you could resume doing in small groups of vaccinated individuals, such as:

  • Game night at a private home with another fully vaccinated couple.
  • Small group of fully vaccinated people in a monthly card group.
  • Rotating host dinner club with one or two other fully vaccinated couples.
  • Engaging in shared hobbies with another fully vaccinated person (e.g., quilting, hiking, walking, bird watching).

Share below – what are you most excited about getting back to now that/when you are fully vaccinated?

Dinner with friends – for sure. I've missed that so much!

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@debbraw

Dinner with friends – for sure. I've missed that so much!

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Visiting with children and their families. Hugging a grandchild.

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This is an excellent question. I watch everything that Dr. Greg Poland says and follows his advice but I also love to have things in writing so I take notes!

The first thing that you need to do is to wait for about 2 weeks for the vaccine to really kick in and be effective. During this time you need to keep protecting yourself as if you hadn't been vaccinated. Maintain distance, wash your hands wear masks, and keep any socializing to a minimum and outdoors if possible. It is still possible to give COVID-19 to others and to get it yourself.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/visits-after-covid-19-vaccination/expert-answers/faq-20506463
After your two weeks are up here are helpful dos and don'ts
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html
"Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
Follow guidance issued by individual employers
Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations"
https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2021/fully-vaccinated.html
I plan to only socialize with family at first. Who will you visit with?

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@merpreb

This is an excellent question. I watch everything that Dr. Greg Poland says and follows his advice but I also love to have things in writing so I take notes!

The first thing that you need to do is to wait for about 2 weeks for the vaccine to really kick in and be effective. During this time you need to keep protecting yourself as if you hadn't been vaccinated. Maintain distance, wash your hands wear masks, and keep any socializing to a minimum and outdoors if possible. It is still possible to give COVID-19 to others and to get it yourself.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/visits-after-covid-19-vaccination/expert-answers/faq-20506463
After your two weeks are up here are helpful dos and don'ts
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html
"Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
Follow guidance issued by individual employers
Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations"
https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2021/fully-vaccinated.html
I plan to only socialize with family at first. Who will you visit with?

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All those CDC guidance are a little bit of CYA, because they don't know yet for sure, and don't trust the pretty clear information obtained from Israel, because it was not generated in the US.
The precautions are mostly because they don't know yet if fully vaccinated persons can still carry the virus and pass it on to other people. The Israeli data indicates that this seems not to be the case.

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@lindes

All those CDC guidance are a little bit of CYA, because they don't know yet for sure, and don't trust the pretty clear information obtained from Israel, because it was not generated in the US.
The precautions are mostly because they don't know yet if fully vaccinated persons can still carry the virus and pass it on to other people. The Israeli data indicates that this seems not to be the case.

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It is known that a fully vaccinated person can actually become infected with the virus.

My daughter, a school nurse, had to inform 2 of her fully-vaccinated staff members that they tested positive last week, but as far as she knows, their illness is not severe. My other daughter, and ER and tele-health nurse for a major medical center has had fully-vaccinated colleagues test positive, but again not get seriously ill. This was after their second dose, but she did not know how much time had elapsed.

I assume that if one tests positive with either saliva or nasal swab tests, one is shedding enough virus to infect someone else. For that reason, we are taking precautions until further notice.
Sue

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@merpreb

This is an excellent question. I watch everything that Dr. Greg Poland says and follows his advice but I also love to have things in writing so I take notes!

The first thing that you need to do is to wait for about 2 weeks for the vaccine to really kick in and be effective. During this time you need to keep protecting yourself as if you hadn't been vaccinated. Maintain distance, wash your hands wear masks, and keep any socializing to a minimum and outdoors if possible. It is still possible to give COVID-19 to others and to get it yourself.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/visits-after-covid-19-vaccination/expert-answers/faq-20506463
After your two weeks are up here are helpful dos and don'ts
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html
"Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
Follow guidance issued by individual employers
Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations"
https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2021/fully-vaccinated.html
I plan to only socialize with family at first. Who will you visit with?

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@merpreb All that is sound advice.Ive been isolated for over a year now but am glad I did it as I never got covid I'd rather be save then sorry.My son is stringent in the cdc guidelines as well After his wife gets vaccinated we will see each other.Thank goodness for zoom.

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@lioness

@merpreb All that is sound advice.Ive been isolated for over a year now but am glad I did it as I never got covid I'd rather be save then sorry.My son is stringent in the cdc guidelines as well After his wife gets vaccinated we will see each other.Thank goodness for zoom.

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@lioness Hi Linda- I'm like that oo for the past year. I can't wait to see my son but have no idea when that will be.

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@lindes

All those CDC guidance are a little bit of CYA, because they don't know yet for sure, and don't trust the pretty clear information obtained from Israel, because it was not generated in the US.
The precautions are mostly because they don't know yet if fully vaccinated persons can still carry the virus and pass it on to other people. The Israeli data indicates that this seems not to be the case.

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@lindes– Hello. I can understand your cynicism after the year that we have had. Israel has issued "green passes" to people who have been fully vaccinated. They according to critics of this it's too soon. Green passes can be obtained about 8 days after the last vaccination. The vaccinations do not lick in until 12 or more days.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/full-vaccine-effect-only-kicks-in-15-days-after-second-dose-israeli-hmo-says/
It's interesting how other countries work and Israel is a very forward-thinking country but we live in America and our guidelines might be stricter but we are safer.

It is already known that people who have been vaccinated can carry and spread COVID-19. And if you have had it you can get it again, however not as bad.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fvaccines%2Fvaccine-benefits%2Ffacts.html
You are also right that there is probably some CYA but since this new transparent administration information has been pretty forthcoming.

I hope that you will think again about what to consider is safe for yourself and others. We at Mayo Connect rely heavily on science-based information. I think that the CDC guidelines are prudent and safe. Better to be safe than sorry, right?

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@merpreb

@lindes– Hello. I can understand your cynicism after the year that we have had. Israel has issued "green passes" to people who have been fully vaccinated. They according to critics of this it's too soon. Green passes can be obtained about 8 days after the last vaccination. The vaccinations do not lick in until 12 or more days.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/full-vaccine-effect-only-kicks-in-15-days-after-second-dose-israeli-hmo-says/
It's interesting how other countries work and Israel is a very forward-thinking country but we live in America and our guidelines might be stricter but we are safer.

It is already known that people who have been vaccinated can carry and spread COVID-19. And if you have had it you can get it again, however not as bad.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fvaccines%2Fvaccine-benefits%2Ffacts.html
You are also right that there is probably some CYA but since this new transparent administration information has been pretty forthcoming.

I hope that you will think again about what to consider is safe for yourself and others. We at Mayo Connect rely heavily on science-based information. I think that the CDC guidelines are prudent and safe. Better to be safe than sorry, right?

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Sure, you are correct, I happen to have a PhD degree in Biomedical Sciences, and am specialized in infection control & prevention. I pretty much can analyze what is safe for me and what not. But I also know from my work that there is a lot of CYA in all CDC recommendations , and we all should be critical about what they tell the general public, and on which facts this is based.
we should not forget that any person who got he first shot, has a pretty hi level of immunity already two weeks after this initial shot, and thus, the issuing of green passes in Israel do make sense.
But everybody has to decide for themselves what to do. I am just happy that I can go back to the beach again, and enjoy the water while watching dolphins fighting over a fish with the pelicans.
I think that is better for my mental health than any CDC guidelines will ever be!

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@lindesIt's nice to meet you! Have you been vaccinated?

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I will get my second shot in 3 days! 2 weeks later, and I will be able to live again!
i have diabetes and self isolated pretty much for an entire year, I can't wait for being among the living again!

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