Parents (USA)

Once I’ve gotten the vaccine, can I be around people again?

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Although the vaccines are very effective, we don’t know for certain that those who have been vaccinated can’t still carry asymptomat­ic COVID and potentiall­y pass it to people who haven’t been vaccinated. So for the time being, according to the latest from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you still shouldn’t attend medium or large gatherings, and you shouldn’t visit (indoors, without a mask) with people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID. But if you and your hangout partners have all had your vaccinatio­ns, “there is no reason why family gatherings shouldn’t become easier,” says Yvette Conyers, D.N.P., assistant professor in community health and population nursing at St. John Fisher College, and the president of the Rochester Black Nurses Associatio­n. The CDC now says that fully vaccinated people can visit indoors with unvaccinat­ed people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID disease without wearing masks or practicing social distancing. In other words, yes, your (healthy) child can safely snuggle with their (vaccinated) grandparen­ts again, which we’re sure is welcome news. But it’s important not to jump the gun: Social gatherings should still wait until two weeks after everyone has received their final injection, the point when the CDC says people are “fully vaccinated.” And, of course, when you’re out and about in the world near strangers who may or may not be vaccinated, continue wearing a mask, since you don’t know if you could be an asymptomat­ic carrier.

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