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CDC Quarantine Recommendations for COVID-19 Vaccinated Population

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February 18, 2021

CDC Quarantine Recommendations for COVID-19 Vaccinated Population

Jennifer Morency

The coronavirus has now unfortunately been a part of our lives for over a year now. From the moment it first reached our shores to where we are now, there has been a lot of researching, learning and adaptation to the novel virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been educating Americans throughout the pandemic on expert findings, data and statistics. As new information or discoveries arise, the CDC is quick to roll out updates.

The emergence of two working vaccines, The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for COVID-19, have led to the start of vaccine doses being expedited across the world. When it comes to Americans, the CDC’s website provides a COVID Data Tracker, showcasing important statistics as to the number of doses delivered, administered and the number of people in the United States that have received two doses and are now considered fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The expediting of the various vaccine doses has everyone scrambling to get their hands on the world’s most coveted vials. As people around the globe are starting to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, how is life really changing for the select population that has now been fully vaccinated?

CDC Quarantine Guidance for COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients

The increased administering of coronavirus vaccines has altered some of the recommendations the CDC put forth when it comes to quarantining. A reported 70 million COVID-19 doses have been delivered across the United States. To date, over 14 million Americans have received two doses, being considered fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

With the increasing number of people receiving two doses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new quarantine options and guidelines on February 11, 2021. If someone who has received their two doses comes in contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, they are no longer required to quarantine for 14 days if they do not present any symptoms.

Instead, the new recommendation is that vaccinated individuals can choose to skip quarantine if they have received their second dose more than 14 days prior to the exposure. The CDC’s reasoning behind this new guidance is that the new vaccines prevent symptomatic coronavirus infections, which are thought to be the most contagious. By reducing this through vaccines, the risk of transmission is lesser in vaccinated individuals, deeming quarantine unnecessary.

It is also important to note, however, that anyone who has not yet received a vaccine dose against the coronavirus or who has only received one dose, must continue to adhere to the stricter quarantine guidelines that are currently in place.

To date, over 14 million Americans have received two doses, being considered fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Increased Risk of Contagion Amid New Quarantine Guidelines?

The new quarantine guidelines issued by the CDC are for individuals who have been in contact with others that have tested positive for the coronavirus and who do not present symptoms. The non-necessity to quarantine does not apply to the people who have been vaccinated and have still contracted COVID-19.

The new guidelines of not requiring quarantine for vaccinated individuals as well as diminishing the time of quarantine to 10 days instead of 14 days was presented by the CDC’s chief medical officer for the COVID-19 response team. Dr. John Brooks and his team examined these new guidelines and established the potential associated risks being between one and twelve percent higher than at present. This is considering the individuals monitor their symptoms during the quarantine period.

Even so, an additional negative test after quarantine is being asked by experts, although the CDC does not seem to require this. One of the main reasons behind the quarantine changes is the hope that people will adhere to the public safety measures if the quarantine period is shorter and less burdensome on family, finances and other. However, the rollout of effective coronavirus vaccines does not mean that the fight is over. As a population, we must continue to protect ourselves, our families and our neighbors.

Importance of Continuing to Follow Public Safety Measures

One of the biggest issues with the new vaccines for COVID-19 is how quickly people’s perception of risk is changing. Some individuals have started being less careful or have even foregone physical distancing with the new promise of an effective vaccine.

Experts are urging Americans to continue putting in the effort and being compliant with safety measures as vaccines are only starting to roll out. Less than five percent of the American population has been fully vaccinated to date, making the continuation of physical distancing, mask wearing and avoiding crowds vital efforts in reducing COVID-19 cases.

Eventually, vaccinations will start ramping up and preventive measures will begin to loosen, but until then, Americans need to continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the coronavirus. Shorter quarantine periods are not meant to signal to the population that the virus is less contagious, but simply to reduce the economic and mental impact on individuals.