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Guidance Guidance for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Date: 09/29/2021
Organization: Department of Public Health
Referenced Sources: CDC Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know, people who have been fully vaccinated can engage in the activities that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic. This guidance is based on CDC recommendations.

Table of Contents

What it means to be fully vaccinated

  • People are still considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 if they have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines or a single dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine more than 14 days ago.
    • This also applies to COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (e.g. AstraZeneca/Oxford, Sinopharm).
  • You do not need to receive a booster shot to be considered fully vaccinated.
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken the immune system should talk to their healthcare provider to discuss their activities.  

How to protect yourself and others

If you feel sick, stay home and get tested.

While vaccines are highly effective there is still a chance you can get COVID-19 even after you get the vaccine. If you develop respiratory symptoms like runny nose, cough, or loss of sense of smell or taste, you should get tested for COVID-19 or talk to your healthcare provider.  

Isolate if you test positive for COVID-19.

If you test positive for COVID-19 you need to isolate, regardless of your vaccination status. The COVID-19 vaccines will not make you test positive on viral tests.​

Monitor for symptoms if you are a close contact to someone with COVID-19.

You are not required to quarantine following an exposure. However, you should still monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure. If you experience symptoms, isolate yourself from others, seek testing, and contact your healthcare provider.

In certain settings, continue to wear a mask and avoid close contact when feasible.

Masks are still mandatory for all individuals on public and private transportation systems (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations), in healthcare facilities, in schools, and in other settings hosting vulnerable populations, such as congregate care settings. 

Fully vaccinated individuals are also advised to wear a mask when indoors (and not in your own home) if you have a weakened immune system or are at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is an unvaccinated adult.

NOTE: Requirements for healthcare personnel may be different. See COVID-19 Return to Work Guidance for more information.

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