For months, your patients have looked forward to the day when they could finally get vaccinated against COVID-19. Now the day has arrived or will be here soon, and they may be wondering exactly what that means for them.
First and foremost, it means more peace of mind. Vaccination greatly reduces your risk of becoming ill from COVID-19.
But even if you don’t get sick yourself, experts are still learning how well the vaccine stops you from spreading the virus to other people. It’s important to keep taking recommended steps to protect yourself and others.
Can I Hug My Grandkids Again?
If you’re a grandparent, seeing your grandchildren is probably at the top of your post-vaccination wish list. Good news! Even though young family members may not have gotten a vaccine yet, hugs are allowed.
When you’re fully vaccinated, you only need to wear a mask or social distance when it's required by federal, state, or local rules. Essentially, you can start doing pre-pandemic activities again.
According to the CDC, you’re considered fully vaccinated:
- Two weeks after your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines
- Two weeks after your Johnson & Johnson vaccine
Getting together with unvaccinated people from more than one household? You can stay maskless, but just know that those who aren't fully vaccinated should still wear masks and social distance.
When Can I Return to Traveling?
More good news: The CDC says it’s safe to travel within the U.S. once you’re fully vaccinated. No need to get tested before or after the trip (unless, of course, your destination requires it).
Remember though, many people have not received a COVID-19 vaccine yet. So if you travel, follow these steps to protect others:
- Road trips. Prioritize avoiding crowds. Pack snacks and water so you need to stop less. And for restaurant meals, choose drive-through or takeout rather than dining in.
- Public transit. Wear your mask at all times. it should have two or more layers of breathable material, cover your nose and mouth completely, and fit snugly on the sides. Pack extra masks and hand sanitizer for the trip. At an airport or any other transportation hub, maintain 6 feet between yourself and others not traveling with you.
- Hotel stays. Use mobile check-in and contact-free payment, if possible. Check the hotel's rules to find out if you need to wear a mask in the lobby and other common areas.
Getting vaccinated doesn’t mean you can forget about the pandemic. But with precautions, you can enjoy your post-vaccine life.
Article last updated May 27, 2021
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