Top US health body says fully vaccinated people can ditch mask

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US national public health agency has said that fully vaccinated people were no longer required to wear masks. “If you are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, you can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, including local business and workplace guidance,” the CDC said in a tweet.

The agency has put out the details on its site on who can be considered fully vaccinated. It says people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

“If you don’t meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated,” the CDC says in its latest guidelines. The agency also says that if one travels in the United States, one does not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel. However, one needs to pay close attention to the situation at his or her international destination before travelling outside the United States.

“You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it. You still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the United States,” the health agency adds.

Following the CDC’s announcement, President Joe Biden said that it was a great milestone. “A great day. It’s been made possible by the extraordinary success we’ve had in vaccinating so many Americans so quickly,” Biden said. Referring to the CDC guidelines, the US President said that fully vaccinated people were at very, very low risk of contracting the infection.

“Therefore, if you have been fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask. But if you have not been vaccinated, or if you have been getting a two-shot vaccine and you’ve only had your first shot but not your second, or you haven’t waited the full two weeks after your second shot, you still need to wear a mask,” Biden was quoted as saying by PTI.

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