With coronavirus vaccines distributed now at the pace of 2 to 3 million a day, we're in a "race between the vaccines and" a possible surge, says Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Given that the virus and variants are still out there, what is it safe to do after you're vaccinated? Anderson Cooper on CNN wondered the same last night. "There's kind of a twofold answer to that," answered Dr. Fauci: "What you can do now, and what's going to happen literally as the weeks go by, because the more people outside besides yourself that are vaccinated, the more you can do as a vaccinated person." Read on to see what you can do now—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.
After You Are Fully Vaccinated, You Can Act Normally With Other Vaccinated People
Keeping in mind being fully vaccinated means waiting at least two weeks after your second dose—or only dose, if you got the J&J vaccine—Dr. Fauci says "if you're with another vaccinated person in the setting of a home, you can really act normally—you don't need a mask. You can have physical contact, even if there are people in that home setting who are not vaccinated, because if they help the people and the risk of their getting a really serious impact or a serious effect of infection is so low, you can interact with them without a mask."
After You Are Fully Vaccinated, You Can Travel if You Must
"Even though travel does increase the risk of transmission. If you're going to need to travel, being vaccinated, diminishes the risk considerably, and there are certain things that you don't necessarily have to do," says Dr. Fauci. "You don't have to get tested before and after your travel—except if the destination requires that. When you come back from international travel, you don't have to quarantine yourself."
After You Are Fully Vaccinated, You Don't Need a COVID Test if You've Been Exposed
"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," says the CDC. "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."
After You Are Fully Vaccinated, You Should Still Follow the Safety Measures
Kida can't be vaccinated. More than 50% of Americans aren't vaccinated. So continue to use precautions even if you are vaccinated. "What we have to do is to abide by the public health measures that we recommend to the extent that we possibly can," said Dr. Fauci, "that is universal masking, avoiding close contact, avoiding congregate settings, particularly indoors. There are a number of tests that are going on right now, trials in age de-escalation, to be able to vaccinate children at a younger and younger age." But the vaccine for every single American is not ready yet.
One Day Soon, We'll Have Guidance About Churches, Sporting Events and More
"What we're going to be seeing more and more and to say is that guidelines are going to come out about acting out in the community, going to restaurants, go to the places of worship, again, your own protection, because you're vaccinated. The more people around you vaccinated, the more leeway and flexibility you're going to have." So get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.