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What to Do After You Have Received Your COVID Vaccine. By Our Student Pharmacist, Aricca Senkow.


If you have received your COVID vaccine this means that you:

  • have a lesser risk of getting sick
  • will have milder symptoms if you do get sick
  • have lesser risk of hospitalization
  • will have a reduced duration of illness if you get sick

Once you have received your vaccine, you will be considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after the second dose with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, or two weeks after the single dose if you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

When those two weeks have passed after vaccination, you have a bit more flexibility in things you can do.

As of May 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that individuals who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 no longer need to wear masks or physically distance – whether indoors or outdoors in most circumstances.

The picture below is a great depiction of what things are safe with or without a mask depending on your vaccination status.


There are a few caveats to this new recommendation.

For those individuals who have compromised immune systems or other heath concerns, they should talk to their doctor about what would be best for them.

Additionally, in certain places like hospitals, other healthcare settings, public transportation, and businesses, you may still be required to wear a mask. Try to check these policies before heading out so you are prepared. Luckily, most places will have free masks in case you forget yours.

If you are fully vaccinated and travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or to self-quarantine after travel.

Pay close attention, however, if you are traveling internationally. You do not need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it. You will still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the Unites States. You should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel, but you do not need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.

Continue to monitor your health, because, although fully vaccinated, you can still be a carrier for the virus. If you do develop symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.

It is important to remember that even if you are fully vaccinated, please do what is comfortable for you even if that means still wearing your mask when around others. Data from this past winter has shown that masking and physically distancing helped stopped the spread of other respiratory diseases such as the flu.

Regardless of your vaccination status, continue washing your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, cover coughs and sneezes, and clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily. Avoid touching your face and eyes, as well. These common sense steps are the best way to prevent any illnesses from spreading.


Edwards E, Bennett G, Alba M. Fully vaccinated? You can ditch the mask, CDC says. NBCNews.com. https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/cdc-plans-drop-mask-requirements-fully-vaccinated-people-n1267249. Published May 13, 2021. Accessed May 20, 2021.

Howley E. Here’s What’s Safe to Do After Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine. U.S. News & World Report. https://health.usnews.com/conditions/coronavirus-and-your-health/articles/whats-safe-after-covid-19-vaccine. Published March 19, 2021. Accessed May 20, 2021.

What To Do Before, During And After Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine? 1mg Capsules. https://www.1mg.com/articles/what-to-do-before-during-and-after-getting-your-covid-19-vaccine/. Published May 20, 2021. Accessed May 20, 2021.

When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html. Published May 16, 2021. Accessed May 20, 2021.

Wong W. Fauci says public is ‘misinterpreting’ latest CDC mask guidance. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/fauci-says-public-is-misinterpreting-latest-cdc-mask-guidance/ar-AAKcgAl?ocid=msedgntp. Published May 20, 2021. Accessed May 20, 2021.


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