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What Does ‘Fully Vaccinated’ Mean, Besides No Quarantine if Exposed to COVID?

February 11, 2021

Are you fully vaccinated? Then you won’t have to worry about a 14-day quarantine if you’re exposed to COVID-19 yet do not show any symptoms within three months of your second dose, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week.

So what is fully vaccinated? The CDC defines it as at least two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine (such as the currently available Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna) or one dose of a single-dose vaccine (like the soon-to-be available Johnson & Johnson).

Studies have shown it takes 14 days after the final dose to develop immunity.

It’s still uncertain, says the CDC, if someone fully vaccinated can still spread the virus. But the vaccine prevents symptomatic COVID-19, say CDC officials. People with symptoms or anyone pre-symptomatic are much more likely to spread the virus.

Once vaccinated, you should still wear a mask, practice social distancing and avoid crowds and inadequately ventilated spaces.

Vaccinated inpatients and residents of healthcare facilities should still quarantine if exposed to someone with COVID-19, says the CDC.

“Once older people are vaccinated, they are 94 percent to 95 percent protected from becoming sick with COVID-19,” says Dr. Virginia Bieluch, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at The Hospital of Central Connecticut. “This is good news, but protection is not 100 percent and elderly individuals are at risk of serious disease with COVID.”