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CDC: People who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks unless in large crowds

A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after receiving the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine

Coronavirus Pandemic

Can I stop wearing a mask after getting a COVID-19 vaccine? AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated guidance on mask-wearing for Americans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

On Tuesday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky made the announcement during the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 Response Team briefing. 

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“Today is another day we can take a step back to the normalcy of before,” she said. “Over the past year, we have spent the last year telling Americans what they cannot do, what they should not do. Today, I am going to tell you some of the things you can do if you are fully vaccinated.”

A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine. Those who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks outdoors unless in crowded outdoor settings, like stadiums and concerts. 

“There are many situations where fully vaccinated people need to wear a mask, particularly if they are outdoors,” Walensky said. 

The CDC listed new guidance on what fully vaccinated people can do on its website which includes: 

  • Gathering indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or maintaining a distance of six feet apart
  • Gathering indoors with unvaccinated people of any age from one other household without masks or staying six feet apart
  • Conducting activities outdoors without wearing a mask except in crowded settings and venues

Individuals who are fully vaccinated also have additional benefits for traveling. They are not required to get tested before or after their trip, and they do not need to quarantine. 

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