After I get a COVID-19 vaccine, is it safe to visit in person with friends and family?
Answer From Daniel C. DeSimone, M.D.
After getting a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that it's OK for fully vaccinated people to:
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors — without wearing masks or avoiding close contact
- Visit with unvaccinated people from one household who are at low risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 — indoors and without wearing masks or avoiding close contact
People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they get their second dose of an mRNA vaccine, such as Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, or two weeks after a single dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
However, vaccinated people should continue to take safety precautions, such as wearing a mask and avoiding close contact (within about 6 feet, or 2 meters) with others, when they are:
- In public
- Visiting with people who are unvaccinated and at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19
- Visiting with people who have an unvaccinated household member at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19
- Visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
Keep in mind that if you're fully vaccinated, your risk of getting COVID-19 might be low. But if you become infected, you might spread the disease to others even if you don’t have signs or symptoms of COVID-19. This could be dangerous for people who are unvaccinated and at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. People at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 include older adults and people with certain underlying conditions.
March 10, 2021
Daniel C. DeSimone, M.D.
See more Expert Answers
- Interim public health recommendations for vaccinated people. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html. Accessed March 8, 2021.
- People with certain medical conditions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html. Accessed March 8, 2021.
- Older adults. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/older-adults.html. Accessed March 8, 2021.