Dr. Anthony Fauci and the CDC (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) have both responded to questions about life after the COVID-19 vaccine. If seniors have received both doses of the vaccine, do they need to continue to quarantine and take other precautions? Can we visit our older loved ones if they have been vaccinated? Here is what they have to say.
Quarantining after vaccine
“Fully vaccinated persons who meet criteria will no longer be required to quarantine following an exposure to someone with COVID-19,” the CDC said in recent updates to its web page with guidance on vaccination. Those who have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus (with two doses of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine) can skip quarantine if they are exposed to someone infected with the virus.
This does not mean seniors should stop taking precautions, the CDC added. It’s just not necessary for them to quarantine after potential exposure as was mandatory before the vaccines.
Visiting senior loved ones
Fauci said families will “ultimately” be able to visit with senior loved ones once everyone in the household is fully vaccinated, but they must be fully vaccinated (having had both shots within at least two weeks having passed since the second shot). This is because it takes two weeks to build full immunity after the second dose of the vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 37 million Americans have received the first dose as of February 16.
“That’s the reason why we say until we have the overwhelming majority of people vaccinated, and the level of virus is very low, if you’re vaccinated, it would be prudent to wear a mask,” added Fauci.
CDC officials also recommended double masking to improve protection from the threat of more contagious variants spreading across the United States.
NOTE: The CDC said it is not known how long the vaccine’s protection will last, so people who had their last shot three months ago or more should still quarantine if they are exposed. People also should quarantine if they show symptoms, the CDC said.