April 21, 2021

I’m fully vaccinated. What now?

A physician’s perspective on some of the common questions about life after the COVID-19 vaccination.

Learn what you can safely do after receiving your COVID-19 vaccination.

We know the COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing people from getting sick. So, if you’re fully vaccinated, you may be wondering if it’s safe to have an evening inside with friends, or travel.

We checked in with Marcus Griffith, MD, a behavioral health physician leader with Kaiser Permanente in Georgia, to discuss life after vaccination and get answers to common questions about how life can change after you’re fully vaccinated.

I am fully vaccinated. What can I do, and who can I safely visit?

At Kaiser Permanente, we’re following the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that states if you’ve been fully vaccinated, you can:

  • Visit inside a home or private setting without a mask with other fully vaccinated people of any age
  • Visit inside a home or private setting without a mask with one household of unvaccinated people who are not at risk for severe illness
  • Travel domestically without a pre- or post-travel test, and without quarantining after travel (requirements or restrictions by airlines or other modes of transportation may apply)
  • Travel internationally without a pre-travel test (depending on the destination), and without quarantining after travel (requirements or restrictions by airlines or other modes of transportation may apply)

This is good news, but it’s important to continue to protect our community and practice healthy behaviors. Now is not the time to let your guard down. It is still critical to continue to avoid large group gatherings and to follow public health guidelines for wearing a mask in public, physical distancing, and hand-washing until more people are fully vaccinated. This will help ensure we reduce any spread to unvaccinated or at-risk populations.

Can I spread the COVID-19 virus if I’m fully vaccinated?

We know the COVID-19 vaccine helps prevent you from getting COVID-19, but more data is needed to understand how well the vaccine can keep you from spreading the virus. 

As more data from current phase 3 trials and testing of asymptomatic people becomes available, experts will get a better sense of how well the COVID-19 vaccine prevents transmission. 

How can I help protect people who are not vaccinated?

While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccination provides under real-life conditions, we should continue the habits that protect ourselves and others. In public places and when around unvaccinated people, it’s still important to maintain healthy behaviors, such as wearing a quality, well-fitting mask; washing your hands often; and keeping a distance of at least 6 feet from others.

You can also help your family and friends by encouraging them and helping them to get vaccinated. You can share informational resources and show them how to find an appointment. For the latest vaccine information, members and nonmembers can visit kp.org/covidvaccine or call our KP COVID Vaccine InfoLine at 1-855-550-0951, available 24/7.

I’m vaccinated, but my children are not. What can we safely do?

If you have children and want to visit their fully vaccinated grandparents indoors, without masks, the risk of transmission in a case like that would be low, according to the CDC.

It’s important to continue taking steps to help protect your children. When you’re in a public place, you and your children still need to wear a mask, practice physical distancing, avoid crowds, and wash your hands frequently.

What advice do you have for people still waiting for their turn to be vaccinated?

Even though everyone 16 and older is now eligible for the vaccine, given the current limited supply nationally, it’s important to know that not everyone will have immediate access to an appointment. We encourage everyone to get the first vaccine available in your community. For Kaiser Permanente members, that may be at one of our facilities or at any authorized vaccination provider that has capacity.

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