By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Public health officials are cautioning residents who receive a COVID-19 vaccine to continue to follow COVID-19 safety protocol in order to protect their families, friends and others who have not been vaccinated.
The vaccines have been widely distributed for less than three months. Experts are confident the vaccine will prevent those who are vaccinated from getting seriously ill from COVID-19, but they don’t yet know how well the vaccine protects against carrying the infection transmitting it to people who haven’t been vaccinated. Until more data comes through and more time goes by, health officials nationwide say it is a good idea to continue following the guidelines from the CDC and the County Public Health Department.
“While the two approved vaccines have shown to be very effective at preventing severe and symptomatic COVID-19, we’re still not sure how well they reduce transmission of the virus,” said County Public Health Director Corwin Porter. “Moreover, while some indications have been favorable, it’s still unclear how effective the vaccines are at preventing emerging new variants of the virus. Therefore, we are urging those who’ve been vaccinated to remain vigilant and continue taking steps to avoid spreading the virus.”
Porter said his recommendations are based on CDC guidelines, most of which are very familiar to County residents by now: stay at least six feet away from others; wear a face covering when distancing is impractical; avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces; cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing; and wash your hands thoroughly and often.
Vaccinated persons may not have to quarantine
Porter noted that when a vaccinated individual is exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, he or she is not required to quarantine if they meet the following criteria:
- They are fully vaccinated (i.e., it has been two weeks or more since they received the second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine);
- It has been no more than three months since they received their last dose; and
- They have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.
These quarantine recommendations for those vaccinated, including the criteria for timing since receiving your last dose, will be updated when more data become available and additional COVID-19 vaccines are authorized.