State health leaders suggest caution with new guidelines for fully vaccinated people

Updated: Mar. 23, 2021 at 3:47 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - New guidelines from the CDC offer hope for fully vaccinated people. Grandparents who have completed their shots can visit their grandkids who are not vaccinated. But Alabama health leaders still suggest caution.

The CDC says you can visit one unvaccinated household if you have completed your shots, but health leaders say this is not true across the board.

CDC guidelines say you could not wear a mask or social distance if you visit those who are unvaccinated. One household - not multiple households. But, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said that is true only if everyone in the household is not at risk.

“If you have someone who is really at risk because of age or comorbidity, you don’t want that visitor to have visitors if you can help it,” Harris said.

This includes those who are older, pregnant women, or some other health condition. In these cases, you would still need to wear masks and social distance.

Some new research shows those who are asymptomatic but carry the disease may not transmit it if you have been vaccinated. Dr. Harris still questions those findings at this point.

“You are likely to have an immune response that makes it less likely you will transmit it at some point. I would say the evidence has not been settled on that just yet,” Harris said.

Health leaders also advise you not to visit anyone unvaccinated until two weeks after your final shot.

“Once you get vaccinated, you’ve got to give your body time to build immune response to give you protection against COVID-19. Generally that takes about two weeks,” said Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Department of Health.

Fully vaccinated grandparents are also urged not to take their grandkids to church because there could be someone at risk at the church. In this case, or if you have doubts, everyone should continue to wear masks and socially distance.

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