Dreaming about hosting a big Easter brunch or graduation party this spring? Or taking that beach vacation? Perhaps it’s something simple like giving grandma a hug. Even if you still have a while to wait until it’s your turn to get a COVID-19 vaccine, you’re probably wondering what’s actually possible after getting it.
Here are four common questions people have about what they can and can’t do after getting a COVID-19 vaccine:
Do I need to keep wearing a mask?
The short answer: yes. While recent CDC recommendations allow fully vaccinated people to visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without masks, it’s still recommended that you wear a mask while visiting with unvaccinated individuals. You should also continue to wear a mask when out in a public setting regardless of vaccination status. Remember: vaccination protects you from getting ill, but you could still be a carrier for COVID-19 and unintentionally pass it to an unvaccinated person.
Can I see and hug my family members?
Experts say it is safe to gather indoors and without masks in small groups with other vaccinated people or with people who are at low risk for severe COVID-19. This isn’t a free pass to congregate; the safest thing you can do is continue to limit your exposure to individuals who are not vaccinated and stay in your “bubble” to protect yourself and others. Remember – the vaccines are 95% effective– which is fantastic–but that still leaves a small level of risk.
Will travel be possible again?
Feeling the itch to travel? You’re not alone. Most of us have been at home since the start of the pandemic, and the idea of escaping to a far-off destination is tempting. Getting vaccinated makes travel much safer. However, there is still some risk. Remember – the vaccines are not 100% effective, which means there is still a chance you could get sick. There are also new virus variants that have appeared in other parts of the world. Although the vaccines seem to be effective against them, experts are still doing research to learn more. If you are planning to travel, you should understand the risks associated with travel and practice appropriate preventive measures like masking and hand hygiene.
Should I create an immunity bubble?
Remember the COVID-19 bubbles people rushed to create at the start of the pandemic? After you’re vaccinated, you may want to consider creating an immunity bubble with fellow vaccinated people. Small groups of people who have been vaccinated can get together indoors without masks at minimal risk.
Although we should start to see restrictions lifted as more people are vaccinated, it’s still important to remain cautious. We’re all in this together and need to take the necessary steps to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community.
Main Line Health is a great resource to get information about COVID-19. We have information about how to stay safe and well during the pandemic as well as testing and treatment. Visit our website to learn more or call 866-225-5654.