Do Vaccinated People Need to Quarantine?

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In the United States, approximately 83.8 million people have received one or both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, about 42.5 million people are fully vaccinated. As a result, many people have been questioning whether vaccinated people need to quarantine, wear masks, and take other public safety measures. Below, learn more about what’s recommended for vaccinated people.

How long does the vaccine take to start working? 

Two-dose vaccines require you to get the second dose as a booster shot a few weeks after the first shot. If you have a two-dose vaccine, on average, the vaccine will be effective after approximately 28 days. With a one-dose vaccine, your body will need about 29 days to build proper immunity against COVID-19.

Can vaccinated people transmit COVID-19? 

COVID-19 vaccines prevent people from getting severely ill from the virus. However, people can still get infected and become asymptomatic. A vaccinated person who is infected yet asymptomatic can spread COVID-19, and people who aren’t immune can get sick. According to a study, people who are infected by COVID-19 but never develop symptoms are responsible for approximately 24 percent of transmission

Additionally, according to preliminary research and some advanced trials, some vaccines can decrease COVID-19’s transmissibility. Recently, researchers discovered in advanced trials that a vaccine from biotechnology company AstraZeneca can help reduce the transmissibility of the virus. Trials are continuing to better understand just how effectively COVID-19 vaccines prevent infection and transmission. 

Should vaccinated people wear masks?

Although vaccinated people might feel safe leaving home without a mask, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still recommends that vaccinated people be safe and wear a mask. If you’re indoors with only other vaccinated people, you don’t need to wear a mask. 

Additionally, vaccinated people can go maskless indoors when gathering with unvaccinated people who don’t have health conditions associated with severe COVID-19 cases. However, in public, you should still avoid medium to large gatherings and wear a mask while socially distancing.

How effective is the vaccine? 

The Israeli Health Ministry and Pfizer have reported that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine reduces infection, including in asymptomatic cases, by approximately 89.4 percent. The data also showed that the vaccine can reduce symptomatic cases by 93.7 percent. 

A separate study in Israel found an 85 percent reduction in symptomatic COVID-19 within 15 to 28 days of vaccination. The study data also showed that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine can reduce infections overall, including asymptomatic cases, by 75 percent. However, more research is needed to draw a definitive conclusion about how effective COVID-19 vaccines are against transmission.

Do vaccinated people need to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19?

Last month, the CDC updated its guidelines about quarantining. Now, fully vaccinated people don’t need to quarantine if they are exposed to someone with the infection if the exposure occurs within three months of vaccination. 

Nevertheless, the CDC still recommends that everyone, including fully vaccinated people, follow social distancing guidelines and wear a face mask. This advice is expected to be the protocol until more data about vaccines and transmission rates becomes available.

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