HONOLULU (KHON2) — The new CDC guidance for people who are fully vaccinated said it is safe to gather with others who have also gotten their COVID-19 shot indoors, and said masks can come off.
The Lt. Gov. Josh Green said seeing loved ones can now be done safely.
“You’ve been vaccinated fully, there’s no reason at all that you shouldn’t spend time with your grandchildren or your children or your friends, you can do it,” Green said. “If you’ve been vaccinated, you are safe.”
The guideline is for individuals who are fully vaccinated, meaning they got both shots of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine, or a single shot of the Johnson and Johnson and let two weeks pass by.
Hawaii Pacific Health Executive Vice President and Chief Quality Officer Dr. Melinda Ashton said the vaccine will begin to build-up a person’s immunity against the virus during the two weeks.
Ashton said, “The shot has to activate, in the case of the second shot reactivate your immune reaction build up that protection.”
Those vaccinated can also gather in small groups with people who have not gotten the shot and are at low risk for severe illness.
The guidance also gives more insight on the vaccines protection against the transmission of the virus, although more time needs to pass in order for the CDC to determine if the vaccine also protects people from spreading the virus to others.
“If you or I, or our parents get vaccinated, and they are immune, so they can’t catch the virus, they’re also not a risk to others,” Green said. “They’re not going to carry the virus in their upper airways and threaten those individuals.”
In public spaces, vaccinated or not, people should continue to social distance, wear masks and avoid medium to large gatherings.
Ashton said, “If you are out in public, you don’t know who has been vaccinated or are at higher risk, therefore wearing a mask is still very important.”
Green expects the state’s mask mandate will remain in place through the fall, and it is likely the state will reach one million vaccinations by May.