Dr. Fauci Just Said This CDC COVID Guideline Is "Going to Change"

The White House's chief COVID adviser says that there are discussions to amend this major rule.

We've all put stock in the coronavirus vaccine as the one thing that can finally bring the pandemic to an end. But since just shy of 10 million Americans have been fully vaccinated as of Feb. 9, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still recommends living by the same daily safety precautions, such as wearing a mask and avoiding contact with others, once you've gotten your shots. According to Anthony Fauci, MD, however, the CDC is "going to change" one of its major COVID guidelines for groups of people who've been fully vaccinated. Read on to see what the White House chief COVID adviser said will soon be different, and for more on how you can prepare for your inoculation, check out If You Take These OTC Meds, You Have to Stop Before Getting the Vaccine.

COVID guidelines about meeting with other vaccinated people may soon change.

A group of young friends stand around a kitchen island during a small dinner party while taking a selfie
svetikd / iStock

Currently, CDC guidelines remain very cautious for those who've received both of their shots, recommending that "while experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic." But while appearing by video conference at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on Feb. 8, Fauci addressed a question about when people who've been fully vaccinated will be able to safely spend time together once again.

Fauci pointed out that while CDC guidelines for vaccinated individuals currently exist and are clear, there has so far been no differentiating clarification from the agency on how groups of fully vaccinated people can behave, CNN reports. "But I believe that's going to change," he said. "We're talking about this at the level of the CDC." And for more upcoming changes from the agency, check out Dr. Fauci Says the CDC May Make This Major Mask Change Soon.

The new guidelines could help make life more "normal."

Senior woman in medical mask with social worker visiting her at home

Fauci went on to explain how even though he has been immunized, he has still been following the recommended guidelines to wear a mask and stay socially distant when visiting family. "I'm doubly vaccinated. My daughter is doubly vaccinated. The last time she tried to come home, she had to go quarantine for 14 days and get tested," he explained. "It was a big, big deal to finally see my daughter in the same room. I think that's going to have to change."

He then added: "What's the reason to get vaccinated in the first place, if you don't want to get to normal?" And for more on what to expect from your dose, check out If This Happens After Your Vaccine, the FDA Says You Should Call 911.

Fauci has previously stressed that full vaccination is key.

A young woman sitting in a car and wearing a face mask receives the COVID-19 vaccine from a healthcare worker wearing gloves.

Fauci has pointed out how the vaccine does't offer immediate protection, not even after both doses. During a virtual town hall hosted by CNN on Jan. 27, he explained that COVID mRNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer don't immediately confer full protection against COVID to those who've received them. "You can get some degree of protection 10 days after the first dose, but you can't rely on that," Fauci said. "The maximum immunity begins about 10 days and beyond following the second dose." And for more post-dose-2 side effects to expect, check out Dr. Fauci Says He Had These Side Effects From His Second Vaccine Dose.

The CDC recently made another vaccine guideline change.

Vials of COVID-19 vaccine and a syringe sit on top of a vaccination date record card.
Bill Oxford / iStock

The CDC has continuously changed guidelines as more data becomes available. In January, for example, the agency amended its suggested immunization timeline, saying that people could now wait up to six weeks (or 42 days) after their first dose of the COVID vaccine to get their second dose "if it is not feasible to adhere to the recommended interval" (which is 21 days for Pfizer and 28 for Moderna). This was changed from the CDC's previous guidelines, which said that "there is no maximum interval between the first and second doses for either vaccine," while still noting that second doses should not be given earlier than the timeframe recommended. And for more on certain activities you should be avoiding post-jab, check out You Should Never Do This After Getting the COVID Vaccine, Officials Say.

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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