Do I Still Have to Quarantine If I Got the Vaccine?

One of the benefits of being fully vaccinated is that you may not be required to quarantine after a potential COVID-19 exposure.

What does it mean to be fully vaccinated?

  1. You must have received both doses of a two shot series.
  2. It must be at least 2 weeks since receiving the second dose. COVID vaccines that require two shots may take up to two weeks for full protection. 
  3. It must not be longer than three months since the last dose of the vaccine.  

What are the quarantine guidelines if I’m fully vaccinated?

If you have been fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms after a potential exposure, then you do not need to quarantine. You should continue to monitor for symptoms for 14 days following exposure. If you start to have any symptoms, then you should get tested.

What if I have only had one dose or it has been less than 2 weeks?

If you do not meet the criteria of being fully vaccinated, then you should follow the current guidelines for quarantine to keep yourself and the people around you safe.

Why can vaccinated people skip quarantine?

The current vaccines are highly effective at preventing COVID-19 illness. There is also increasing evidence that vaccinated people are not as likely to spread the virus. The CDC believes that the risk of transmission is low enough that vaccinated people skip quarantine if they are taking other precautions, like distancing and wearing a mask. The change in quarantine guidelines for three months after vaccination are similar to those for people who have already had COVID.  

This does not mean that your vaccine is only good for three months. We know it works for at least three months (and likely many more)! The CDC is waiting on more data about how well vaccination prevents the spread of the virus and how long the vaccine may work. The 3 month limit is just a conservative first step. The CDC will update quarantine recommendations as more data is gathered.

Last update: February 17, 2021, 10:33 EST

Science review: BK, ERS, JAB