CDC guidance for vaccinated people…

Good news, common-sensical, scientifically-based … and, of course, politically-motivated.

Yesterday, all media headlined CDC guidance for the steadily increasing pool of vaccinated Americans.

The political motivation: High risk seniors who are frustrated re: vaccine access and scheduling processes are asking: “Why go through the hassle of getting vaccinated if I still won’t be able to see my grandkids?”.

That vax-hesitancy is not good if the goal is to cut the Covid death rate and reach herd immunity.

Cutting to the chase: Based on the new CDC guidance, grandparents can now — without masks or socially distancing —  visit their grandchildren.

Of course, there’s plenty of fine print in the CDC guidance.

So. here’s what you need to know….


Who qualifies asFully vaccinated

  • People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 ≥2 weeks after they have received the 2nd dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna), or ≥2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (J&J)

Note: Single-dosers (i.e. J&J recipients) benefit from the relaxed guidelines 3 to 4 weeks sooner than 2-dose recipients, even though emerging evidence is suggesting that people are substantially protected (75% to 80%) after the 1st dose of the 2-shot vaccines.


Fully vaccinated people can now:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease (notably, children and young, healthy adults)  without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic

Note: “Refrain from” is stronger language than, say, “consider unnecessary”.


But, fully vaccinated people should continue to wear a mask & socially distance:

  • In all public settings — indoors or outdoors
  • When visiting unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease (e.g. old, pregnant, comorbid, immunity compromised).
  • When visiting people who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
  • When visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households


> And, vaccinated people should still:

  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers

Note: Employer guidance can cut both ways: the rules may be more relaxed or tighter. The test case will, of course, be teachers.

While Biden is “encouraging” that all teachers get at least 1-shot before the end of March, most will be getting (or have gotten) one of the 2-dose vaccines.

By the CDC’s explicit definition, teachers who have only received the 1st dose of a 2-dose vaccine are not considered “fully vaccinated”.


OK, CDC guidance provides guidance for people who are fully vaccinated.

But, how should people who aren’t fully vaccinated act around people who are fully vaccinated?

That question is more complicated than how vaccinated people should act around unvaccinated people..

We’ll address it next….

DISCLAIMER: I’m not a medical professional or scientist — just a curious, self-interested guy.  So, don’t take anything that I say or write as medical advice. Get that from your doctor!

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