The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday released updated COVID-19 guidance for individuals who have been fully vaccinated.
People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after receiving the sole dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The CDC has been criticized recently for continuing to be overly restrictive with its guidance for those who are fully vaccinated. In Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey had already loosened the state’s health order — including ending the mask mandate — due to the widespread availability of vaccines and relatively low COVID case counts and hospitalizations. Alabama’s health order is set to expire entirely on May 31.
Now, the CDC is no longer advising fully vaccinated people to wear masks “in any setting” except where otherwise required.
“You can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic,” the CDC wrote regarding fully vaccinated individuals. “You can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
Governor Ivey issued a statement following the release of the new CDC guidance.
“Finally, we are seeing some encouraging, common sense guidance from the CDC,” she said.
“Alabama certainly welcomes this good news that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks or maintain social distancing inside or outside, regardless of size,” Ivey continued. “We Alabamians have already embraced this idea, and I am glad the CDC has made it official. Aside from the COVID-19 vaccine being safe and effective, it is also allowing us to do the things we love and enjoy. Alabama is open for business. Alabama classrooms are open for students. Y’all, Alabamians are getting back to living. So, Alabama, roll up your sleeves and get the vaccine!”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn