What Fully Vaccinated People Need to Know

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COVID-19 vaccines work well to prevent you from getting and spreading COVID-19. They’re highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19, including from the Delta variant.

Once you’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.

When is someone fully vaccinated?

You’re fully vaccinated 2 weeks after your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine:

  • 2 weeks after your second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.
  • 2 weeks after your one and only shot of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

If you meet the criteria for having a compromised immune system, you should get a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least 4 weeks after your second dose.

If you’ve been vaccinated, you may be eligible for a booster shot to keep up your protection. See the latest guidance on boosters.

What can fully vaccinated people do?

If you’re fully vaccinated, you can participate in many of the activities that you did before the pandemic. To maximize protection from the highly contagious Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask inside public places if you’re in an area of substantial or high spread of COVID-19.

If you’re not yet vaccinated, you should continue to:

  • Wear a mask when inside public places.
  • Keep at least 6 feet part from people who don’t live with you and who may not be vaccinated. 
  • Avoid crowds. 
  • Avoid poorly ventilated spaces. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available.

Vaccinated and unvaccinated people must still follow federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial laws, rules, and regulations. That includes public transportation, airport/airplane, local business, and workplace guidance. 

Do people with compromised immune systems need extra doses of a COVID-19 vaccine?

People with compromised immune systems are less able to fight infections. If any of the following apply to you, you may not be fully protected from COVID-19 even if you’ve received two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s or Moderna’s mRNA COVID-19 vaccine:

  • You have a moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency disorder, such as DiGeorge syndrome or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.
  • You have an advanced or untreated HIV infection.
  • You’ve ever had an organ transplant or had a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years.
  • You’re being treated with corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant medicines for such conditions as arthritis, asthma, or an autoimmune disease, such as lupus, sarcoidosis, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis.
  • You’re being treated for cancer.

To get the most benefit from the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, people with compromised immune systems should get a third dose. Wait at least 4 weeks after you get your second dose.

You should also continue to follow current COVID-19 prevention measures until your health care provider says it’s safe for you to stop:

  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth around people you don’t live with and when inside public places.
  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from people you don’t live with.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water aren’t available. 

What should unvaccinated people do to protect themselves and others from COVID-19?

Until you’re fully vaccinated, you should continue to:

  • Wear a mask when you’re inside public places.
  • Stay at least 6 feet (that’s 2 arm lengths) apart from people who don’t live with you and who may not be vaccinated.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water aren’t available.

Public health officials continue to update recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. For the latest guidance, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus