There are new guidelines when it comes to mask wearing for fully vaccinated Americans. The new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is in place, so long as people wait at least two weeks after their last shot. Fully vaccinated Americans no longer have to wear masks outdoors when alone, or with immediate family members or friends.
If you received your last shot and have waited two weeks, there’s even more good news. Fully vaccinated Americans do not have to wear masks indoors, as long as they are with other fully vaccinated people. People can also engage with unvaccinated people from another household, but they should avoid any people who have an increased risk of COVID-19.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, “Today is another day we can take a step back to the normalcy of before. If you are fully vaccinated, things are much safer for you than those who are not yet fully vaccinated.”
Who Is Fully Vaccinated?
According to the CDC, people are considered fully vaccinated:
- 2 weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series. This applies to the Modern and Pfizer vaccines.
- 2 weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine, which only applies to Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
Is The CDC Trying To Encourage Vaccinations?
Some people interpret the new relaxed guidelines as a ploy to get more people to receive the COVID-19 vaccines. It seems that fully vaccinated people experience more freedoms than their unvaccinated counterparts. For example, fully vaccinated people have fewer mask restrictions, but they also have an easier time with travel, especially if places require a negative PCR test prior to departure. Please continue to check with the state or country’s rules about travel prior to booking flights or stays, though.
Should You Still Wear A Mask?
Mask wearing will be in place for quite some time, people. It isn’t dying off just yet. Even if you are fully vaccinated, the CDC recommends wearing masks in indoor public settings. President Joe Biden emphasized that sentiment, encouraging mask wearing for all in crowded places. Most stores and indoor establishments require this anyways, unless you are eating or drinking. Outdoor stadiums or venues also require masks, although some outdoor sports events may soon offer mask-less sections for fully vaccinated people.
What Does These New Guidelines Mean?
The announcement of the new guidelines represents a shift in public health messaging. During the pandemic, public health guidelines were very imposing, rigid, and abnormal for people. Some people protested these guidelines, while others complied. According to weekly averages for COVID-19 cases, the United States is doing very well. It’s clear that the vaccines are effective and more things can open up as a result. Both the CDC and President Joe Biden have said that it’s easier and safer to do things, both indoors and outdoors, if you are fully vaccinated.
As of April 27th, 2021, the CDC released information that 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated. At least 42% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
If you do gather with people, all health experts encourage outdoor gatherings. The CDC has long said that the risk of infection is minimal outside, now more so than ever if you are vaccinated. If you gather inside, make sure that the space is ventilated so that everyone receives optimum air flow. Remember that vaccinated people can still contract the virus and be carriers, so please take preventative measures when necessary. Mask up and stay safe.