KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The world may feel “back to normal” for you this weekend if it’s been at least two weeks since you got your Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or a second Moderna or Pfizer dose. That’s the population the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers fully vaccinated. Thursday, they reported data shows inoculation is effectively preventing people from contracting the COVID-19 and passing it onto others.
The CDC also revised health guidance for fully vaccinated Americans.
The update included a major shift on makes, saying those with full protection no longer need to wear them in any setting, inside or outside. Testing is no longer recommended after being a positive exposure to the virus, unless someone works or lives in a correctional facility or homeless shelter. The CDC still recommends testing if you’re experiencing symptoms, regardless of your vaccination status.
Fully vaccinated Americans are clear to travel domestically, without testing before or after their trip. Some guidelines on international travel were also lifted, but others depend on a person’s destination country.
Masks may still be required by certain businesses, workplaces, and local governments. They’re also required on trains, planes, and buses.
None of these changes apply to CDC guidance for health care settings.
Dena Mashburn, Director of Nursing for the Knox County Health Department said: “and the number of people that have been vaccinated in such a short window of time and it’s this effective, it’s great news.”
Until more people get the shot, Mashburn noted, we’re still in a grey area of the pandemic. For now, that grey area will include mask requirements inside some places.
“I think each business owner is going to have to access their own threshold for risk…who are their employees…what is their business like…what do they need to do in order to keep their employees and themselves safe,” Mashburn added.
With 36.47% of people in Knox County fully vaccinated as of Friday, and 30.4% of people statewide, Mashburn also says it’s important for the public to continue to respect guidelines and protect others.
“The virus is still with us. while it’s great news, there’s always that note of caution behind it and the need to respect each other,” Mashburn said.
The CDC report also highlighted there is limited data on vaccine effectiveness among those who are immunocompromised.
People with immunocompromising conditions, including those taking immunosuppressive medications (for instance drugs, such as mycophenolate and rituximab, to suppress rejection of transplanted organs or to treat rheumatologic conditions), should discuss the need for personal protective measures with their healthcare provider after vaccination.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention