The following is some helpful information guided by the CDC's and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's (MDPH's) recommendations for what to do once you've been vaccinated. Please note, this guidance does not apply to fully vaccinated individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What does it mean to be fully vaccinated?
- Will a COVID-19 vaccination protect me from getting sick with COVID-19?
- Can I spread COVID-19 to others even after I'm vaccinated?
- If I'm vaccinated and test positive, do I need to do anything?
- If I'm vaccinated, am I required to quarantine if I've come in close contact to someone with COVID-19?
- Can I visit with other people once I've become vaccinated?
- What other important resources about vaccines are there?
People are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 if it has been 14 days after they have received their 2nd dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines or 14 days after they have received a single dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine.
While vaccines are highly effective there is still a chance you can get COVID-19 even after you get the vaccine. Though studies have shown that the COVID-19 vaccine may protect you from coming down with symptoms, researchers are still determining if you can still become asymptomatically infected and thus able to spread to others. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and get tested.
Experts are still conducting more studies about whether the vaccines keep people from spreading COVID-19. It is important to take precautions, like wearing a mask, continuing to stay at least 6 feet from others, etc. in order to avoid the potential spread of COVID-19 to others even if you are vaccinated. Please see below for more recommendations about visiting both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
Yes! If you test positive for COVID-19 you need to isolate. It is important to note that the COVID-19 vaccines will not make you test positive on viral tests (examples include PCR test or a rapid antigen test).
If I'm vaccinated, am I required to quarantine if I've come in close contact to someone with COVID-19?
You should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure or if you are named as a close contact to someone with COVID-19. If you experience symptoms, isolate yourself from others and contact your healthcare provider or seek testing.
If you do not live or work in a congregate setting (e.g., correctional and detention facilities, assisted living residences, nursing and group homes), you are not required to quarantine following an exposure. However, you should still monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure. If you experience symptoms, isolate yourself from others and contact your healthcare provider or seek testing. You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace.
The CDC has provided some guidance on how to interact with others once you have been fully vaccinated.
VISITING PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN FULLY VACCINATED
If you are fully vaccinated you may visit other fully vaccinated people indoors in private settings without wearing masks or physical distancing. For example, if you are fully vaccinated, it is likely a low risk for you to invite other fully vaccinated friends to dinner inside your home.
VISITING PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health recommends following CDC guidance which says that if you are fully vaccinated you may visit in a private setting indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household (for example: visiting relatives that all live together) who are at low risk of severe COVID-19 disease without wearing masks or physical distancing.
Another example is that fully vaccinated grandparents can visit indoors with their unvaccinated healthy child and their healthy children without wearing masks or physical distancing, provided none of the unvaccinated family members are at risk of severe COVID-19.
VISITING UNVACCINATED PEOPLE AT INCREASED RISK OF SEVERE COVID-19
If you are fully vaccinated, but are visiting unvaccinated people from multiple households OR are at an increased risk of severe COVID-19, everyone should take precautions including wearing a mask, staying 6-feet away from others, and visiting outdoors or in a well-ventilated space.
For example, if a fully vaccinated individual visits with an unvaccinated friend who is seventy years old and therefore at risk of severe disease, the visit should take place outdoors, wearing well-fitted masks, and maintaining physical distance (at least 6 feet).
VISITING WITH PEOPLE FROM MULTIPLE HOUSEHOLDS
If you are fully vaccinated and are visiting unvaccinated people from multiple households OR are at an increased risk of severe COVID-19, everyone should take precautions including wearing a mask, staying 6-feet away from others, and visiting outdoors or in a well-ventilated space.
You still need to continue wearing masks, stay at least 6 feet apart from others in public, avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.
- Town of Swampscott's COVID-19 Vaccination Information Page
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health Guidance for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19
- Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People
- The CDC identifies the following as those that are at increased risk for severe illness (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/index.html)
- Older adults (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/older-adults.html)
- Pregnant people (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/pregnant-people.html)
- People with certain medical conditions (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fneed-extra-precautions%2Fgroups-at-higher-risk.html)