If you are one of the Los Angeles and Orange County residents who has received one of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines, you are not in the clear to resume life as usual just yet. While the vaccine provides much needed relief in the fight against coronavirus, these are some of the key reasons why we must remain vigilant against COVID-19:
- No vaccine is 100% effective — One in 20 people can still get COVID-19 after the vaccine.
- Vaccines don’t work instantly — It takes about two weeks for your immune system to be protected.
- You can still spread the virus — Most vaccines prevent you from becoming sick but not from passing the virus to others if you become infected.
- Masks protect others — People with other diseases are at a higher risk of becoming very ill if they get COVID-19.
- Masks protect against new strains — Some are more contagious.
Remember, if you received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, two doses are required for your immune system to create enough antibodies to give you a greater than 95% chance of fighting off the virus. It is also important to complete your vaccine doses as close to the recommended interval as possible. According to the CDC, you have to wait at least 21 days before getting the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 28 days before getting the second dose of the Moderna vaccine. If you receive the second dose too soon, you won’t get the 95% protection rate.
Only one dose is required of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Remember, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after you’ve received any one of the three vaccines.
What Has Changed For Those Who Are Fully Vaccinated?
- You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
- You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19
- If you have been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
- However, if you live in a group setting and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.
What Has Not Changed?
For now, if you have been fully vaccinated:
- You will still need to follow the following guidelines for businesses.
- Wear your masks — Face masks to protect others.
- Maintain hand hygiene — Use hand sanitizer to clean hands frequently, and wash hands for 20 seconds at a time.
- Practice physical distancing — Stay six feet apart from others whether inside or outside.
- Wipe down any surfaces you touch.