May 24, 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?

The latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains some things you can do once you are been fully vaccinated.

  • You can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart in most settings, except where required by federal, state, and local rules and regulations, as well as local business and workplace guidance. For more information, check with your local health department.
  • You can travel domestically without a pre- or post-travel test, and without quarantining after travel.
  • You can travel internationally without a pre-travel test (depending on the destination), and without quarantining after travel. A negative test result or documentation of recovery is still required before boarding a flight to the United States, and testing is recommended within 3 to 5 days after travel.

This is good news, but it remains important to wear a mask if you are indoors in high-risk areas such as health care settings and public transportation, or while traveling. You should also continue to follow federal, state, and local rules and regulations, which may be different than the CDC guidance. This includes local business and workplace guidance that requires wearing a mask.

Even after being fully vaccinated, anyone with symptoms of illness should resume wearing a mask and get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible. This is important to prevent further spread of the virus.

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

While fully vaccinated people have a reduced risk of transmitting COVID-19 to unvaccinated people, it is still possible to spread the virus. It remains important to get tested if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms even after you are fully vaccinated. If you test positive for COVID-19, you should not visit private or public settings for at least 10 days after your positive test and until you are no longer experiencing symptoms.

How can I help protect people who are not vaccinated?

You can help family members and friends who are 12 years and older to get vaccinated as soon as possible. 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. You can also encourage people who are not yet fully vaccinated to continue to wear a quality, well-fitting mask in public places.

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

If you have children and want to visit their fully vaccinated family and friends 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 crowded public place, your children should still wear a mask, practice physical distancing, and wash their hands frequently.

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