I Am Fully Vaccinated — What Can I Do Safely?

By Noor Roomi, MD, Internal Medicine, and reviewed by Scott Paparello, DO, and Director of Infectious Disease

More than two million people in Massachusetts are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Being fully vaccinated is defined as two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. You probably know several people who are fully vaccinated — maybe you are one yourself! While the vaccination news is exciting, we are still in a global pandemic and should continue to adhere to safety protocols to prevent COVID-19 transmissions in our communities.

What can you safely do when you are fully vaccinated? Noor Roomi, MD, of Emerson Internal Medicine in Concord, shares this information. Please visit this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpage for more recommendations on what you can and cannot do once you are fully vaccinated.

Can I visit with my family members, including grandchildren, who I don’t live with?
Fully-vaccinated people can gather indoors together without a mask or social distancing. You can also get together indoors with unvaccinated people of any age who come from one other household, unless someone in that group is at high-risk for COVID-19 complications, such as those asthma, diabetes, or a condition that compromises their immunity.

Can I meet my vaccinated friends inside a restaurant?
Yes, you can meet your fully-vaccinated friends and have a meal without wearing a mask or social distancing. Meeting outside is always safer than meeting inside, and now is a perfect time of year to enjoy outdoor dining.

Do I need to wear a mask if I am fully vaccinated? Why?
Yes, you should continue to wear a mask. While all of the vaccines have high efficacy rates, none of them is 100 percent effective, and you can still become infected with COVID-19. Suppose you have COVID-19 but do not have symptoms. In that case, you might not know, so wearing a mask prevents the virus from transmitting to others and prevents you from becoming infected. Masks may be with us for a long while. The good news is they are very effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses, like the flu.

Can I take public transportation?
Yes, it is safe to take public transportation, but you should still wear your mask and social distance. If you do travel by plane, you should follow CDC requirements and recommendations.

How do I know or trust if someone is fully vaccinated?
If you feel comfortable, you could ask someone if they are fully vaccinated. The best thing you can do to prevent spread of the virus is to continue to wear your mask and social distance.

To book an appointment with Dr. Noor Roomi, please call Emerson Internal Medicine at 978-371-5386.

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