The CDC published guidance on March 8, 2021 based on current information regarding people who have been fully vaccinated. For guidance purposes, individuals are considered fully vaccinated for COVID–19 when:

  • it has been two weeks or more after they have received the 2nd dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • it has been two weeks or more after they received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine

PLEASE NOTE: If it has been less than two weeks since the vaccine was administered, or a second dose is still needed, an individual is NOT yet fully protected and should keep taking all preventive steps.
In order to protect themselves and others, individuals should continue to take precautions in public places, including:

  • wearing a mask
  • staying 6 feet away from others
  • avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.

Even if individuals are fully vaccinated they may still be able to spread the virus.


Changes in Guidelines

This new guidance includes changes from previous recommendations. Individuals who have been fully vaccinated can

  • Gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
  • Gather indoors with unvaccinated people from the same household without masks unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID–19.
  • Be around others and forgo getting tested, even if they have been around someone who has COVID–19, unless they have symptoms.
    • However, if they live in a group home or center, individuals should still quarantine for 14 days and get tested if exposed, regardless of symptoms.


Guidelines That Have Not Changed

Even if an individual has been fully vaccinated, the CDC still recommends taking the following precautions, at least until more is known:

  • Continue protective steps:
    • Wear a mask
    • Stay 6 feet away from others
    • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces whenever you are in public
    • Avoid gathering with unvaccinated people from another household
    • Avoid visiting an unvaccinated person who is at increased risk of severe illness or death from COVID–19 or who lives with a person at increased risk.
  • Avoid medium or large sized gatherings.
  • Delay domestic and international travel.
    • If you travel, follow CDC guidelines.
  • Watch for symptoms of COVID–19, especially if exposed to someone who is sick. If symptoms appear, get tested.
  • Follow workplace guidance. 

The CDC knows the vaccines are effective at preventing COVID–19, especially severe illness and death. However, they are still learning how well the vaccines keep people from spreading the virus that causes the disease, how effective the vaccines are against the COVID–19 variants and how long the vaccines can protect people from the virus. As more data is gathered, the CDC will update all recommendations.

Check out our COVID-19 Resource Center for more resources and information.