Chicago, IL

What Top Chicago, Illinois Doctors Say About the New CDC Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated People

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Local Chicago Illinois Doctors react to CDC’s new recommendations for those who have been vaccinated.

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The CDC has issued new recommendation for individuals who are considered “fully vaccinated” against the COVID-19 virus. Fully vaccinated means the person is at least two weeks post-receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or at least two weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine.

These newly released guidelines have been released following three months of research after the vaccine’s release. Most people in the Chicago, Illinois area are extremely happy since the CDC’s statement enables those who have been vaccinated to take advantage of many opportunities that they couldn’t before receiving the injection/s.

Learn what the new CDC recommendations are from CDC DIrector Dr. Rochelle Walensky here:

Top Chicago Illinois Doctors Respond to New CDC Recomendations

In the new guidelines it states that anyone who is fully vaccinated can visit indoors with others who are also fully vaccinated without wearing masks or practicing social distancing. They are also able to have one visitor indoors who isn’t vaccinated without wearing masks or practicing physical distancing.

Although there has been some question as to how well the vaccine prevents someone from catching COVID-19 or transmitting the virus health experts believe this guideline is a sign the vaccine works.

Doctor Awais Vaid, Medical Director at the Champaign Urbana Public Health District is glad to see these new, revised guidelines.

“I’m actually very happy to see the recommendations that have come out from the CDC, which really, you know, talks about the confidence of the CDC in the vaccine,” Dr. Vaid said.

"This is what we were really hoping for we'd been pushing, you know, lots of interest and making sure that the CDC would come out with this," said Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner. Dr. Arwady added that the guidelines provide more specific recommendations regarding what vaccinated people can and can’t do though she pointed out that some precautions remain.

"You know what hasn't changed though is that we definitely still need people wearing the mask, doing the social distancing, doing all this anytime you're in public," Dr. Arwady said. "Anytime we're doing gatherings, even medium sized gatherings, you've got to keep doing this. These exceptions are for again, people gathering where everybody's been vaccinated or in a single household, but as our numbers keep getting better, stay down, we'll probably be able to even loosen up some more."

There are those in Chicago, Illinois who question how safe these recommendations are, in part due to how careful we’ve had to be for a year now. Instructions to wear a mask anytime you are with anyone else and to social distance or risk contracting the potentially deadly illness have been hammered into us constantly. Now that these restrictions are relaxing, some people are reacting to the news with concern based on having taking these messages to heart.

However, Dr. Emily Landon, executive medical director of Infection Control and Prevention at University of Chicago Medicine said, "To be honest with you, I think it's pretty safe for two completely vaccinated - that means two weeks after their second dose - completely vaccinated people to expand their friends circle to include other completely vaccinated people, and in a moderate way. I think that's probably pretty reasonable. But I do think it's really important to, for the most part, continue wearing our masks."

In an interview, Dr. Jeffrey Kopin, chief medical officer for Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, discussed how important these new CDC guidelines are for older populations who are also the most isolated who are desperately in need of human contact.

“When a person is fully vaccinated the opportunity to spend time with other people who are fully vaccinated we absolutely can do that, we’ve already been talking about how it’s okay to go over to a friend’s home to have dinner if you want to go out to a restaurant you can do that with people who are vaccinated. . . This really frees us up in the ability to visit with friends and family. . . It’s wonderful. We so need that. We have grandparents who haven’t seen their grandchildren now in an entire year. That can’t continue. Let’s remember too, we can’t be too eager. It’s fully vaccinated. . . Once we hit that spot let’s go see your kids, go visit your grandparents. Let’s open up and get that human contact going again.”

Take Away

While Chicago residents are hopeful that the vaccine will allow them to get their lives back to normal, there are also some reservations regarding CDC’s new guidelines for fully vaccinated people. Yet, from the physicians who have weighed in so far, it appears that Chicago Illinois’s top doctors are convinced that the recommendations are the correct ones to make. The general consensus is that they guidelines minimize the risk of virus transmission and that there is no reason not to resume contact with others in a less inhibited way than we have during the past year.

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