People vaccinated against COVID-19 may skip quarantine if they have been exposed to someone infected with the deadly bug, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its latest guidance.
“Fully vaccinated persons who meet criteria will no longer be required to quarantine following an exposure to someone with COVID-19,” the CDC said.
“Vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria,” the agency added.
The CDC noted that vaccinated people should continue wearing a mask, stay at least six feet away from others, avoid crowds and wash their hands often.
According to the updated guidance, people who received both shots of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines can skip quarantine only if at least two weeks have passed since the second jab since it takes that amount of time to build full immunity.
But the CDC noted that people who received their last shot three months ago or more should still quarantine if they are exposed because it’s not known how long protection lasts.
They also should self-quarantine if they show symptoms, the agency added.
“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.
Meanwhile, vaccinated inpatients and residents in healthcare facilities should continue to quarantine after an exposure to someone with a suspected or confirmed case of the disease, it said.
“Outpatients should be cared for using appropriate Transmission-Based Precautions. This exception is due to the unknown vaccine effectiveness in this population, the higher risk of severe disease and death, and challenges with social distancing in healthcare settings,” the CDC said.