Dr. Fauci Just Confirmed You Can Do This After Getting Vaccinated

This is welcome news for those who have already gotten the COVID vaccine.

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States are continuing to transition into further vaccine phases, opening up COVID vaccinations to more and more people. Once vaccinated, people are asking themselves, "What now?" If vaccination prevents severe illness from the coronavirus, can inoculated individuals go back to their normal lives without worry? Unfortunately, White House COVID adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, has cautioned against lifting restrictions and returning to a pre-pandemic lifestyle too soon, as many are still waiting for their chance to get the vaccine. But there is some good news for those who have already gone through the process. Fauci just confirmed that vaccinated people can have some leeway, especially when it comes to doing this one thing. Keep reading to find out what he advises, and for more on the future of vaccination, Dr. Fauci Says You'll Easily Get a Vaccine Appointment After This Date.

Dr. Fauci said two fully vaccinated people can hang out without restrictions.

Family gathering concept. Two women of different age talking on the patio of modern house.
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During a Feb. 11 interview with Savannah Guthrie on Today, Fauci discussed life after the vaccine. When it comes to those who have already been vaccinated, like older individuals, Guthrie asked Fauci if they could "go back to their normal lives," like going to see their kids and their grandkids.

"In essence, ultimately yes. The thing you would like to see, Savannah, is if you have two parties vaccinated," Fauci said. Explaining this further, he said that if two people are both fully vaccinated, they can get together without a mask, hug, and continue "pulling back from restrictions." And for more insight from the infectious disease expert, Dr. Fauci Says These Are the COVID Symptoms That Don't Go Away.

But he cautioned against a fully vaccinated person and a non-vaccinated person getting together.

A front-view shot of a grandfather sitting down on a sofa with his granddaughter, the young granddaughter is using her phone to play an online game.
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Guthrie also asked Fauci if someone at high risk were vaccinated and the other party wasn't—like a grandmother and a grandchild—could they still gather in the same way as two vaccinated people? Unfortunately, Fauci said he wouldn't recommend this. "Yeah, then you got to be careful because grandma could still get virus in her nasopharynx, even though the vaccine is preventing her from getting physically ill," Fauci said. He further explained that the risk then is not to grandma, who is vaccinated, but "to the person who is not vaccinated," as they could become infected from the viral load being carried by a vaccinated person. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Fauci said people who are vaccinated still need to wear a mask for now.

young man wearing mask on bus
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Since it's still possible that vaccinated people could spread the virus to those who are not yet vaccinated, Fauci said mask wearing will need to be a precaution upheld by everyone for some time. "Until we have the overwhelming majority of people vaccinated and the level of virus is very low, when you're vaccinated you still—it would be prudent to wear a mask," he said. As Fauci previously noted in December, 75 percent of Americans need to be vaccinated for the country to reach herd immunity. According to The New York Times, only around 10 percent have received at least one dose so far. And for more mask guidance, If You See This on Your Mask, the FDA Says Toss It Immediately.

The CDC says it takes time to be considered fully vaccinated.

Male nurse preparing vaccine using face mask
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Being fully vaccinated takes some time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Both COVID vaccines available in the U.S., Moderna and Pfizer, require two doses for full vaccination. Moderna's two doses are to be given 28 days apart and Pfizer's two doses are 21 days apart. However, you also have to wait after your second dose to be considered fully vaccinated. According to the CDC, your body takes time to build up its immunity. In the agency's guidelines, it says that an individual is "fully vaccinated" once it has been two weeks or more since their second dose in a two-dose vaccine series. And for more on the restrictions lifted after your shot, The CDC Says You Don't Have to Do This Anymore Once You're Vaccinated.

Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
Kali Coleman
Kali is an assistant editor at Best Life. Read more
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