As more COVID-19 vaccines become available and more people are vaccinated, it's important to understand how it will change your daily life. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic. Here's how to know when you're considered fully vaccinated, and what does and doesn't change once you are.
What You Need to Know if You've Been Fully Vaccinated
People are considered fully vaccinated:
2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
If it has been less than 2 weeks since your shot, or if you still need to get your second dose, you are NOT fully protected. Keep taking allprevention stepsuntil you are fully vaccinated.
What's changed if you've been fully vaccinated:
You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has anincreased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.
What hasn't changed, even if you've been fully vaccinated:
You should still take steps toprotect yourself and othersin many situations, like wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. Take these precautions whenever you are:
Gathering with unvaccinated people from more than one other household
You should still watch out forsymptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace.
What we know and what we're still learning:
We knowthat COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death.
We’re still learninghow effective the vaccines are against variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. Early data show the vaccines may work against some variants but could be less effective against others.
We knowthat otherprevention stepshelp stop the spread of COVID-19, and that these steps are still important, even as vaccines are being distributed.
We’re still learninghow well COVID-19 vaccines keep people from spreading the disease.
Early data show that the vaccines may help keep people from spreading COVID-19, but we are learning more as more people get vaccinated.
We’re still learninghow longCOVID-19 vaccines can protect people.
As more vaccines become available to the general public, it's important to know when you're considered fully vaccinated, what you can and can't do after you become fully vaccinated, and how to continue to protect others who have not been vaccinated yet. Until we know more about those questions, everyone — even people who’ve had their vaccines — should continue takingbasic prevention stepswhen recommended.
Want to learn more? Visit our article on what you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine. For more information on COVID-19 vaccine distribution, click here.