May 01, 2021

Staying safe even after the COVID-19 vaccine

Getting fully vaccinated to protect against COVID-19 — which involves the full course of doses then waiting two weeks — brings peace of mind. What it doesn't bring is total immunity from getting or spreading the disease, or an ability to completely let your guard down. Mayo Clinic experts recommend:

  • Continued masking and social distancing — The vaccines reduce the risk of severe reactions to COVID-19 infection. But there's uncertainty whether they will prevent infection and virus spread. Wearing a face mask around others — especially indoors at public places — and social distancing are still important.
  • Using restraint around loved ones — Recent CDC guidelines allow fully vaccinated people to be together indoors, unmasked. Fully vaccinated people may also be indoors, unmasked, with people from one other household, as long as none of those people is at high risk of severe complications from COVID-19. However, still exercise some restraint. The desire to hug family members and friends can be irresistible. But Mayo Clinic experts urge you to wait a little longer, until both hugger and huggee have been vaccinated. It's still safest to visit outdoors when possible, or open windows and doors to improve ventilation. And wash your hands often.
  • Resuming medical appointments — Having the vaccine can increase confidence in proceeding with medical appointments. Your provider is also likely to be vaccinated, further reducing the risk of transmission.
  • Avoiding unnecessary travel — An airplane...