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CDC Says "Do Not" Do This After Your COVID Vaccine

Now isn't the time to abandon all precautions.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

There are a few things you should absolutely not do after being vaccinated against COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, and one of them is thinking you're invincible against the coronavirus, or can't spread it. Testing positive for COVID-19 after being vaccinated—called a "breakthrough" infection—is rare, but it does happen. One study found that out of 8,121 fully vaccinated employees at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, only four went on to test positive for coronavirus. You don't want that to be you, and you don't want to make someone else sick. Read on to discover what the CDC you should not do after vaccination—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.


Do Not Think You're Invincible to COVID After Vaccination

No vaccine is 100% effective, and you may still get infected with COVID, even though you may have mild symptoms or none at all. It's unclear whether people who've been vaccinated may be able to carry and transmit the virus to unvaccinated people. So it's important to practice preventative measures in public and be alert for symptoms, the CDC says.

"We're still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19," the agency says. "After you've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions in public places like wearing a mask, staying six feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces until we know more."


Do Not Ignore COVID Symptoms if You Have Them

Middle age hoary senior man

"You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you've been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others," the CDC says.

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Just Said This is the Best Vaccine to Get


Do Not Join Large Gatherings or Travel

Traveling woman doing the check-in at the airport wearing a face mask.

Additionally, after you're vaccinated, you should still avoid medium- and large-sized gatherings, and you should still postpone domestic or international travel, the agency advises.


Don't Think You're Protected The Same Day You Get Your Last Shot—It Takes a While to Kick In

Woman in medical protective mask getting injection in arm vaccination.

Immunity against the coronavirus doesn't happen immediately after vaccination; antibodies take time to build. You're considered fully vaccinated two weeks after getting your second dose of a two-dose COVID vaccine, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson's vaccine, the agency says.


Here's What You Can Do After Vaccination

cheerful african family at home using tablet

If you've been fully vaccinated, it's OK to gather with others unmasked in certain situations, the CDC says. You can remove your mask if you're fully vaccinated and are gathering indoors with other fully vaccinated people, or if you're gathering indoors with unvaccinated members of one other household. (An exception: if anyone you'll be around is at risk for severe COVID-19, it's best to mask up.) So get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more about Michael
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