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If, like half the US population, you were recently vaccinated against COVID, you may have to adjust to a new normal again – this time to a relative freedom. But for many people, having been on high alert for more than a year, it’s hard to imagine reverting to our pre-pandemic practices.
For now, maybe that’s a good thing. When you finally get the COVID sting, you can start to reevaluate your risk. However, there are good reasons for a cautious and gradual re-entry. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasize that there are still certain activities that pose a higher risk than others, and most social scenarios still require masks for optimal safety – even after the shot. Read on to find out which post-vaccination activities are riskiest and to learn more about the COVID vaccine, says Dr. Fauci, that your COVID vaccine will protect you for so long.
Spending time with a higher percentage of unvaccinated people
One of the keys to your safety after vaccination is knowing the vaccination status of other people you are meeting with. The fewer fully vaccinated people there are in a given group, the more likely you are to get a breakthrough infection.
The CDC advises that since children are not currently vaccinated, you should increase the number of households with children should limit all at once and children should continue to wear masks when they get together with others. The health authority says vaccinated adults can attend this type of event without a mask, as long as it is outdoors. However, she does advise continuing to wear masks when inside with unvaccinated people. If you’d like to have more COVID vaccine news sent straight to your inbox, subscribe to our daily newsletter.
Visiting indoor spaces with poor ventilation over a long period of time
Before and after vaccination, you should plan to avoid indoor areas with poor ventilation. This is one of the highest risk environments as aerosolized droplets can linger longer in the air in places with limited airflow, according to the CDC. For now, this may exclude shopping malls, cinemas, casinos, elevators, certain types of public transport, some bars and restaurants, and more. And to learn more about your post-vaccination risk, the CDC warns you to avoid this place even if you are vaccinated.
Visit places where physical distancing is impossible
According to CDC guidelines, “Fully vaccinated people can participate in many outdoor activities without the use of a low-risk mask to themselves or others.” However, being outdoors can create a false sense of security as certain outdoor activities are still considered risky – for example, a crowded outdoor concert. For now, keep wearing a mask if you expect to be in a crowd, says the CDC.
Perform activities that make it difficult to breathe in the presence of other people
According to CDC guidelines, activities that involve “singing, shouting, exertion, or other heavy breathing” are considered to be a higher risk even after vaccination. To be able to safely participate in such activities (e.g. training courses or other group sports, choir singing or church services that require participation), you should wear a mask whenever possible and keep your distance. And for more information on places to keep avoiding, the CDC says these are the “Least Safe” places you are going to go.