Health Brief: CDC vaccination update
COVID-19 vaccination is an important tool to help us get back to normal, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19 or from getting seriously ill, even if you do get COVID-19.
The vaccines teach the body’s immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection, known as “immunity,” against the virus that causes COVID-19. That means it is possible for a person to get COVID-19 before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection. People are considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. [On April 13, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevent (CDC) and Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that America “pause” use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine over reports of blood clots.]
Although COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting sick, scientists are still learning how well vaccines prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others, even if you do not have symptoms. Early data shows that vaccines help keep people with no symptoms from spreading COVID-19, but we are learning more as more people get vaccinated. We’re also still learning how long COVID-19 vaccines protect people.
For these reasons, the CDC strongly recommends that people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 keep taking precautions in public places, like wearing a mask, staying six feet apart from others, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and washing hands often.
After you are fully vaccinated, the CDC says it’s safe to do the following:
- Gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
- Gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines, and these vaccines have undergone intense safety monitoring. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe. These vaccines cannot give you COVID-19.
You may have side effects after COVID-19 vaccination, but this is normal, advises the CDC. These include chills or tiredness, which may affect your ability to do daily activities and should go away in a few days. Side effects are signs that your body is building protection.
This information is provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.