Florida has already fully vaccinated millions of Floridians and now, all adults over 18 years of age, and young adults of 16 years of age with their guardian’s permission are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. How will life be after vaccination?
The vaccines authorized in the United States gives people protection against severe COVID-19 and the current data also shows that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection and transmit covid to others. Based on this, fully vaccinated people can resume some of their day-to-day functions.
CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has compiled guidelines for fully vaccinated people. Fully vaccinated person = Person who has received both vaccines of Pfizer or Moderna, or 1 dose of Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine. The vaccine is in full effect in 2 weeks after receiving the second dose (or the only one of Janssen).
- Pfizer: 95%
- Moderna: 94%
- Janssen: 66%
(Source: Stat News, CDC data)
All the vaccines give a good protection against severe disease, there are still guidelines we must follow to overcome the pandemic. In short the guidelines are still the same:
- Wear a mask (properly!)
- Keep your distance – preferably six feet apart
- Avoid crowded places
CDC states that these guidelines will stay in effect as long as needed and until there is more data of the vaccine effectiveness.
CDC has also released public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people.
Meeting other people:
- You may visit other vaccinated people indoors without a mask or the need to socially distance yourself.
- You may also visit people indoors who are not vaccinated, if they are from the same household, and wearing a mask or physical distance is not required.
- However, if anyone who is not vaccinated is in the risk group to get COVID-19, meeting is not recommended.
Travel for fully vaccinated:
- When traveling domestically, you do not need to get tested before or after your travel.
- Self-quarantine is not required after domestic travel.
- When traveling internationally:
- Fully vaccinated people do not need to get tested when leaving US, unless the destination country requires for it (and Finland does require it).
- You do have to get tested before returning back to US after international travel.
- It is recommended that you’ll get tested 3 to 5 days after international travel, however, you do not need to self-quarantine after your arrival back to the United States after your trip abroad.
Getting tested and self-quarantine recommendations:
- If you come into contact with someone who is suspected or confirmed COVID-19 positive, you do not need to quarantine or get tested if you do not have any symptoms.
- However, if you do live with multiple people (e.g. group homes) and are exposed to the virus, you should quarantine for 14 days and get tested, even if you do not have any symptoms.
Even though the regulations loosen up a bit after getting vaccinated, people are still urged to be careful, wear a mask, keep their distance and wash hands regularly. CDC also cautions people when meeting with others from multiple different households and if they are not yet vaccinated and/or in a risk group.
When traveling by plane, you still must wear a mask, no matter if you are vaccinated or not. You also must get tested before returning to US and getting tested few days after your travel is highly recommended. When returning to your workplace, you also must follow their guidelines.
Data is constantly collected to fully understand the efficiency of the COVID-19 vaccines and how well they work against the different mutations. Research is also done to understand better how the vaccine can help stopping the spread of the virus.
So let’s follow the rules and guidelines for little longer and hopefully soon we can forget all about COVID, like it never happened!
Here are few good links to read more about the current guidelines, as they constantly evolve. Please do check the updated information directly on CDC’s page especially if planning on traveling to or from Finland.
CDC, Full guide for fully vaccinated
CDC test requirements
CDC & international travel
CDC recommendations by destination
Federal register, Covid testing and documentation