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The FDA has approved several vaccines that can minimize an individual’s risk of contracting COVID-19. The FDA has designated which age groups are authorized to receive the vaccine. In general, people are considered fully vaccinated, two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine. These dosage requirements are based on which vaccine is administered. We know that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19, especially severe illness and death. Vaccination also reduces the risk of people spreading COVID-19 to others. However, since vaccines are not 100% effective at preventing infection, some people who are fully vaccinated will still get COVID-19. These are called vaccine breakthrough cases. Infections in fully vaccinated individuals have been occurring in smaller proportion compared to unvaccinated individuals. Current data suggests that symptoms occurring among vaccinated people, tend to be less severe.

Many COVID-19 vaccine recipients are eligible to receive a booster shot. Currently, eligibility is based on which primary vaccination series you have received and your age. The time frame for the booster to be administered, varies based on your primary vaccination received. Research is still being conducted regarding how effective the vaccines are against new variants of the virus and how long the vaccine can protect people. The risk of infection remains much higher for unvaccinated people.

If you are fully vaccinated you may be able to resume activities without wearing a face covering or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidelines.

Everyone needs to take steps to not only protect themselves but also others. Stay home if you’re sick. The only exception for leaving your home is to get medical care if instructed by your healthcare provider. Stay up-to-date on how to contact your healthcare professional and what other services are being provided in your community, so you know what to do.

Older adults and people who have certain underlying medical conditions like diabetes, heart or lung disease are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19. If you are an older person with an underlying medical condition, please consult with your healthcare provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

As for the rest of the individuals in our community, we should also know how the virus spreads, along with the steps we can take to protect ourselves and others.

Practice recommended respiratory etiquette techniques. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. The CDC states that the droplets from a sneeze or cough that is not covered can travel up to 6 feet. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands after you sneeze or cough.

During this pandemic, you should also avoid sharing personal household items such as dishes, drinking glasses, eating utensils, towels or bedding with other people in your home. Wash thoroughly after use with soap and water or put in the dishwasher.

Interested in learning more?

Get more information about the Covid-19 course here.