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CDC Says Don't Do This After Getting COVID Vaccine

This previous safety guideline no longer applies.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab

People who've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer have to observe a 14-day quarantine if they've been exposed to someone infected with coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. The agency updated the guidance on its website this week. The CDC says vaccinated people don't need to quarantine if they're not showing symptoms COVID-19, and if their contact with an infected person came at least two weeks after they received the second of the two-shot vaccination and within three months of that second dose. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

Vaccinated people should still mask up

The recommendation is similar to what the CDC has advised people who've achieved natural immunity from a previous COVID infection.

"Fully vaccinated persons who do not quarantine should still watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure," the agency said. "If they experience symptoms, they should be clinically evaluated for COVID-19, including SARS-CoV-2 testing, if indicated."

The CDC also advised that vaccinated people follow public health guidelines to slow the spread of coronavirus, including wearing a face mask, social distancing and avoiding crowds.

The reasoning: Experts still aren't sure if the vaccine prevents people from becoming infected with COVID-19, and therefore able to transmit it to others. (They do know it prevents severe illness from the disease.) The agency said there was "limited information" on whether vaccines reduce transmission and how long their protection lasts.

"Although the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from vaccinated persons to others is still uncertain, vaccination has been demonstrated to prevent symptomatic COVID-19; symptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission is thought to have a greater role in transmission than purely asymptomatic transmission," the CDC said.

As of Feb. 11, CDC reporting indicates that just more than 11.1 million Americans have received both shots of a currently approved COVID vaccine, while 34.7 million people have gotten one or more doses. Overall, COVID-19 cases continue to decline nationwide, but experts are nervously monitoring several variants of the disease, which may be less responsive to vaccines.

RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci

How to survive this pandemic

As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

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