Last week, the CDC updated their guidance for fully vaccinated individuals. The update states that people who are fully vaccinated (two weeks after their final dose) can largely go back to doing the activities they did pre-pandemic without having to wear a mask or physically distance.
However, everyone – including fully vaccinated people – must still follow mask guidance where required by law, rule, or regulations. Many workplaces, businesses, schools, long-term care facilities, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters may still require masks, regardless of vaccination status, for their employees or customers that may have underlying conditions that make them vulnerable to this virus.
Under the CDC’s guidance, everyone must wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs, such as airports and stations.
In Pennsylvania, the Secretary of Health’s universal face covering order remains in effect and unvaccinated individuals, including children, must still comply with the order. Once 70 percent of Pennsylvanians over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated, Pennsylvania will lift the masking order.
Pfizer Approved for 12- to 15-Year-Olds
On May 12, the PA Department of Health encouraged all COVID-19 vaccine providers to start vaccinating anyone age 12 and over with the Pfizer vaccine. This follows the recommendation issued last week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In Pennsylvania, immunizations, like other general medical services, require consent. The Department of Health recommends that vaccine providers follow their current policy for vaccinations of minors.
Your Second Dose is Important
It’s important to remember the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both require a second dose to be fully vaccinated. Two weeks after the second dose, your immune system will be able to recognize and protect against COVID-19. You are not considered fully vaccinated until you get your second dose. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose.
Some people may experience side effects after getting vaccinated. These are normal and are signs that the body is building immunity. COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening, and long-lasting complications. If you have side effects, they are often mild and temporary and only last a few hours to a few days.
Pennsylvanians are encouraged to snap a selfie following their full vaccination and share the great news on social media using the #GotMyShotPA hashtag.
May 27 "Vax Facts" Facebook Live
To help Pennsylvanians get the facts they need to make an informed decision about COVID-19 vaccines, we have created the “Vax Facts” Facebook Live Series. Each event includes a panel of doctors and healthcare experts who can answer your questions about COVID-19 and vaccines.
On May 13, the PA Commission for Women hosted a Vax Facts Facebook Live for Parents & Guardians. The recorded video and information about the panel of family physicians and pediatricians can be found on Facebook.
The next Vax Facts event will be held on Thursday, May 27 at 12 PM focusing on vaccine safety related to fertility, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Anyone can participate by visiting the event page on Facebook. Questions can be submitted in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question of the Week
Are vaccines truly safe for 12- to 15-year-olds?
Yes. COVID-19 vaccines have been used under the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. On May 12, the FDA and CDC approved the use of and recommend the Pfizer vaccine for adolescents 12 through 15 years of age – a big next step in the effort to fight COVID-19. Children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, which means they can get sick and spread the virus to others.
They have missed so much over the past year – school, sports, proms, graduations, seeing family and spending time with friends. It’s time for teens and young adults to get their turn.