CDC: Fully Vaccinated Individuals Can Gather Safely Without Masks, Social Distancing

By: Kaitlyn Kudriavetz, Writer / Follow South Jersey Child Welfare Intern

Photo: Jon Bradley | Follow South Jersey

SOUTH JERSEY — Americans who have been completely vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely gather with other vaccinated or low-risk individuals without masks or social distancing, according to an announcement by health officials on Monday.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that fully vaccinated individuals continue to wear masks and socially distance in public, and they should also avoid large social gatherings. Vaccinated people who are showing potential COVID-19 symptoms should also get tested. An individual is classified as “fully vaccinated” two weeks after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna model, or two weeks after receiving the one and only required Johnson & Johnson dose.

Currently, about 31 million Americans, or about 9% of the population, have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

With the number of vaccinated adults rising throughout the United States, guidance on their restrictions has been increasingly sought after with questions about their ability to socialize, visit family or travel.

“With more and more people vaccinated each day, we are starting to turn a corner,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.

During a press briefing on Monday, Walensky said to expect more guidance and approval on activities in the future when case numbers and deaths decline, more individuals are vaccinated, and more information is obtained regarding whether or not vaccinated people can spread COVID-19.

The recent CDC guidelines did not address the abilities of those who may have some immunity from the COVID-19 virus from being previously infected.

This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.