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Vaccinated Americans Must Wear Masks Except When With Each Other, New CDC Guidelines Say

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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Fully vaccinated Americans can meet indoors with each other without wearing masks or socially distancing, but still need to follow existing COVID-19 guidelines in public, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Monday.

Vaccinated people can also associate with low-risk individuals, like children, from one other household, the CDC said. The new guidance marks the first set of recommendations made by the CDC for vaccinated individuals since the U.S. began coronavirus vaccine distribution late in 2020. (RELATED: Jen Psaki: Trump Admin Doesn’t Deserve Credit For Vaccines ‘When Half A Million People In The Country Have Died Of This Pandemic’)

The organization still recommended that individuals continue to wear masks, socially distance, and avoid large gatherings in public even after being fully vaccinated.

CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky clarified that the CDC considers individuals to be fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Walensky also said that the science is still somewhat limited on what may or may not be safe, so further guidance will come in the future when more information is available. “The science of COVID-19 is complex, and our understanding of the virus continues to rapidly evolve. The recommendations issued today are just a first step,” she said. (RELATED: Cuomo Misled The Public Using Nursing Home Figures His Top Aides Manipulated)

The CDC also confirmed a previous recommendation that vaccinated individuals do not have to quarantine after being exposed to the virus. Still, guidance regarding travel is not being updated and even those who have been vaccinated should avoid it if possible, Walensky said.