Feb 10, 2021 - Health

CDC: COVID-19 quarantine unnecessary for fully vaccinated people

Photo of two masked people watching as one holds up a vaccine syringe

Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

People who are fully vaccinated no longer need to quarantine after exposure to someone infected with the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday.

Yes, but: The CDC's definition of "fully vaccinated" is narrow in scope. The agency urges caution regardless of vaccination status, especially as new variants continue to spread.

Details: Since both vaccines currently authorized require two doses, the CDC defines a fully vaccinated person as someone who meets the following criteria:

  • Has waited two weeks or longer after second shot in two-shot series.
  • Is within 3 months after receipt of the final dose in the series.
  • Remains asymptomatic since COVID-19 exposure.

Those who do not meet all three criteria should quarantine for two weeks, per CDC guidance. Fully vaccinated people should watch for symptoms as well.

What they're saying: "This recommendation to waive quarantine for people with vaccine-derived immunity aligns with quarantine recommendations for those with natural immunity, which eases implementation," the CDC said.

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