By Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP
After more than a year of lockdowns, social distancing, mask-wearing, obsessive handwashing and dealing with anxiety and stress, you have finally received your COVID-19 vaccine. You did it, but what now?
Well, first off, ensure that you are fully vaccinated. Most of the COVID-19 vaccines available require two doses three weeks apart. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you aren’t considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after your last dose. Until that point, you are not fully protected, so keep being faithful to all preventive measures.
We’re still learning more about how the vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19, so even after you are fully vaccinated, continue to practice safety measures when out in public, like wearing your mask and staying 6 feet apart from others. Once you are at a much-decreased risk of contracting the virus, enjoy all the safely executed time outdoors that you can!
There are a few new guidelines from the CDC for those who are fully vaccinated:
- You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
- You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household without masks, as long as the additional household doesn’t contain someone who has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- If you have been around someone who has COVID-19, you no longer need to be tested or avoid others, unless you start to have symptoms.
While this is far from being back to normal, these are welcome changes that will enable us to be with the ones we love once again. So, if you or your loved ones are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, make sure to set an appointment. For help finding a vaccine appointment, visit Vaccine Finder.
The end is in sight, but we must all remain vigilant to conquer this pandemic. Stay safe, and get vaccinated.