Stay Cautious Even After Full Vaccination, Expert Says

Even as new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention permit gathering among those who’ve been fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, one area health expert warns to stay cautious.

Dr. Mona Gahunia, a Halethorpe., Md.-based infectious disease physician who leads Kaiser Permanente’s vaccine program, told WTOP that many safety and social distancing precautions still apply post-vaccination.

“It’s important to avoid crowds, it’s important to avoid poorly ventilated spaces and gathering in those types of spaces,” Gahunia said, WTOP reported. “It’s still really critical to wash your hands.”

The CDC guidance issued Monday saying that fully vaccinated people can spend time without a face covering with unvaccinated people indoors, provided that the unvaccinated are at low risk for severe COVID-19. However, the agency also discouraged vaccinated people from attending medium- and large-sized gatherings.

“Which I interpret as 10 or fewer, based on prior CDC guidance,” Gahunia said, WTOP reported.

Gahunia said even in groups where everyone has been immunized, she recommends mask-wearing because of the various risk levels of the people.

She also pointed out that immunity isn’t immediate from the time of the first shot, but rather “two weeks after you’ve received a two-dose series and completed the second dose, or two weeks after you receive the [Johnson & Johnson] single-dose vaccine,” WTOP reported.

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