So, You're Vaccinated. Now What? CDC Publishes Guidelines on Do's and Don'ts After COVID-19 Vaccine

Close up of doctor preparing injection for vaccination in clinic. Hands of a female doctor preparing flu injection.
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Center for Disease Control published a list of guidelines on what to do after you received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Based on what researchers know, people who receive the COVID-19 vaccine are protected from getting sick and can start living their lives the way they used to.

But, the Center for Disease Control is still urging those who have received the long-awaited vaccine to continue to practice social distancing protocols, avoiding crowds, and poorly ventilated spaces.

Until we know more about those questions, everyone — even people who’ve had their vaccines — should continue taking basic prevention steps when recommended.

If you've been vaccinated, do you still have to wear a mask?

The CDC says you can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without the need to wear a mask.

You can also gather indoors with unvaccinated people from just one other household without masks. For instance, if you visit relatives who all live in one household.

However, if someone inside that household is at an increased risk for severe illness, then you should be wearing a mask.

What if I am vaccinated, but was exposed to someone with COVID-19?

You do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you are exhibiting symptoms. That guidance changes if you are in a living situation like correctional or detention facilities or group homes. If that is the case, then you should stay away from others and get tested, according to the CDC. 

And even though you are vaccinated, you still should:

Social distance in public, gathering with unvaccinated people from more than one household, visiting an unvaccinated person who is at high risk.

Avoid medium or large-sized gatherings.

Delay domestic and international travel.

Be cautious of any symptoms appearing.

Continue to follow your workplace guidelines.