By: Dr. Supriya Mannepalli, NGMC’s Medical Director of Infectious Disease Medicine
Over 35 million people in the United States are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are one of those people, congratulations! Getting fully vaccinated is the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19. Here’s what you need to know now.
1. Wait two weeks after your last COVID-19 vaccine.
It takes two weeks for your body to build up the antibodies to help fight the virus – and for vaccines that require two shots, that’s two weeks after the second shot. Until the end of those two weeks, you are not fully vaccinated. After that, you can run to nearest fully-vaccinated relative and give them a big hug
2. Keep your masks.
Because it’s impossible to know whether everyone is completely vaccinated, you must continue to wear your mask in public spaces like hallways, large public spaces, parking lots or anywhere you might encounter someone who is not vaccinated.
There is good news, though! You don’t need to wear a mask if you are fully vaccinated and are meeting with:
- other fully vaccinated people
- people from a single household if those who are unvaccinated are at low risk.
3. Keep traveling limited
Being fully vaccinated does not mean that things are back to normal. Continue to keep travel to a minimum. Other places still have COVID-19 guidelines in place to prevent creating a new COVID-19 variant. If you’re exposed to a new variant, you could start experiencing symptoms even after being fully vaccinated.
4. Quarantine only when symptoms rise.
Fully vaccinated people do not need to quarantine if they’ve been around someone with COVID-19. So, if you are fully vaccinated, you can relax a little! You only need to quarantine if you start feeling COVID-19 like symptoms, and you should get a COVID-19 test if symptoms arise.
Getting the vaccine is an important part of the fight against COVID-19, but we can’t let our guard down yet. We still need to follow the 3Ws – wearing a mask, washing our hands and watching our distance – so the numbers won’t rise again. For now, enjoy this feeling and time with close friends and family – and continue to be vigilant!
For more COVID-19 Vaccine information, visits nghs.com/covid-vaccine.