If you’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine, that’s great news – the vaccine is extremely effective at protecting you from the disease.
As a result, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has relaxed some of its COVID-19 guidance for fully vaccinated people, giving people protected by the vaccine the go-ahead to resume some routine activities that stopped because of the pandemic.
“The more people are vaccinated, the quicker we can turn the corner on this pandemic,” says Dr. Gerald Harmon, vice president of medical affairs at Tidelands Health. “But we all have to do our part.
“If you’re eligible and you haven’t been vaccinated, please don’t wait. Vaccine supply has increased, which means vaccination appointments are readily available, and there’s no cost to you. Make your appointment today.”
What’s changed under the new CDC guidelines:
- Fully vaccinated people can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or social distancing.
- Fully vaccinated people can gather indoors without masks or social distancing with unvaccinated people from a single household if those people are at low risk for severe disease. For example, fully vaccinated grandparents can visit healthy children and grandchildren without wearing masks or social distancing.
- Fully vaccinated people who come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless they develop symptoms.
Still in place
What hasn’t changed:
- Fully vaccinated people should still wear masks, practice social distancing and take other steps to protect themselves and others in many other situations, such as when they are:
- In public
- Gathering with unvaccinated people from more than one other household
- Visiting with an unvaccinated person who is at increased risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 or who lives with a person at increased risk
In addition, the CDC continues to urge people – vaccinated or not – to avoid medium- and large-scale gatherings and delay travel.
Book your vaccination appointment today
It’s easier than ever to receive your COVID-19 vaccine. If you’re in Phase 1a or 1b, call 1-833-6-MYSHOT (1-833-669-7468) to schedule. Or schedule online or by chat at tidelandshealth.org/vaccine.
One thing that’s important to remember is that it takes about two weeks after your final vaccine dose to be fully vaccinated, so you should wait until then before starting to follow the CDC’s relaxed guidance for fully vaccinated people.
“In the meantime, be sure to wear a mask when around others not in your household, continue to practice social distancing and take other steps to prevent the spread of the disease,” Dr. Harmon says. “With each vaccination, we get closer to putting the pandemic in our collective rearview mirror. However, until we reach herd immunity and a large percentage of people are vaccinated, we need to stay vigilant to slow the spread of the disease.”
Dr. Gerald Harmon
Vice President of Medical Affairs and Family Medicine Physician
Dr. Gerald Harmon, who has cared for patients in our region for more than 35 years, is a family medicine physician and vice president of medical affairs at Tidelands Health.Learn More
Medical University of South Carolina
U.S. Air Force Regional Hospital
American Board of Family Medicine
Meet the Expert
Dr. Gerald Harmon
Dr. Gerald Harmon, who has cared for patients in our region for more than 35 years, is a family medicine physician and vice president of medical affairs at Tidelands Health.