New CDC COVID-19 Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Americans

Katriona Page, Contents/Copy Editor

On Apr. 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced updated COVID-19 recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals. The new guidelines describe a variety of activities those who are fully vaccinated can safely do maskless. 

These activities include: taking a walk, run, bike or hike, either alone or with members of their household; attend small outdoor gatherings with family or friends; attend small outdoor gatherings with both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals and eat at outdoor restaurants with friends from other households. The CDC also added that those who are fully vaccinated can attend large, outdoor events, such as sports games, concerts and parades. 

However, some prior recommendations do still stand: for example, the CDC still advises that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors when visiting unvaccinated, high-risk individuals and in public spaces. 

Individuals qualify as fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

After the announcement, President Joe Biden celebrated the progress in an Apr. 27 statement, encouraging Americans to get their vaccine: “The bottom line is clear: If you’re vaccinated, you can do more things, more safely, both outdoors as well as indoors. So for those who haven’t gotten their vaccination yet, especially if you’re younger or thinking you don’t need it, this is another great reason to go get vaccinated — now. Now!” 

He has set July 4 as the target date for a return to normalcy. 

The U.S. has administered over 230 million doses of vaccines thus far, meaning that approximately 37% of American adults are fully vaccinated and 54% have received at least one dose. For those under 18, that number is lower, as only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been approved for those between 16 and 17. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved any other COVID-19 vaccines for those under 16.