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Federal health officials from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that fully vaccinated people will be able to gather with other vaccinated people, as well as small groups of unvaccinated people under certain conditions. . 

These guidelines are the “first set of public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people” that the CDC has given. The requirements for being considered “fully vaccinated” are two weeks after receiving the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or two weeks after receiving the first dose of Johnson and Johnson. 

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According to the recommendations so far, fully vaccinated people can: visit other fully vaccinated people unmasked without having to socially distance or be outdoors, visit unvaccinated people who are low risk from a single household unmasked without having to socially distance or be outdoors and withhold from quarantine or testing if exposed and showing asymptomatic signs.  

“With more and more people vaccinated each day, we are starting to turn a corner,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

Walensky said that more activities would be approved for people who are vaccinated once cases and deaths begin to decline.

So far over 32 million people in the U.S., about  9% of the population, are fully vaccinated.

Dr. Richard Besser, CEO of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former CDC director, said that the guidance was “welcome news to a nation that is understandably tired of the pandemic and longs to safely resume normal activities.”

“I hope that this new guidance provides the momentum for everyone to get vaccinated when they can and gives states the patience to follow the public health roadmap needed to reopen their economies and communities safely,” Dr. Besser said.

While many are praising the growing hope for the vaccine, former Baltimore health commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen, said the CDC should have set up a post-vaccine guidance in January. 

“The CDC is missing a major opportunity to tie vaccination status with reopening guidance. By coming out with such limited guidance, they are missing the window to influence state and national policy,” Wen told AP News.

While the CDC did release new guidelines, they also suggested that people should still continue to take certain precautions such as: wear a mask and socially distancing when around high risk people, wear a mask and socially distance with unvaccinated people from multiple households, wear a mask and socially distance in public, avoid medium or large public gatherings, follow issued employer guidance and follow guidelines for travel requirements and recommendations. 

Written ByLevon Satamian

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