“You Asked, We Answered” is a roundup of VHA’s answers to your top questions. This post continues a series your questions to COVID-19 vaccines.
Once I receive my vaccine, how soon am I protected?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you are most protected from COVID-19 after you are fully vaccinated. Those who receive two-dose vaccines like the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines aren’t considered fully protected until two weeks after their second dose.
Those who receive single-dose vaccines like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine aren’t considered fully protected until two weeks after their dose. After two weeks, you will be most protected from COVID-19.
VA is following CDC and FDA guidance to pause in providing the Janssen vaccine. This pause is due to a concern about possible rare side effects. Your safety is our top priority. For more information, go to the CDC website.
Can I still spread COVID-19 after I am fully vaccinated?
Yes, you may still spread COVID-19 after you are fully vaccinated. Experts are continuing to study the virus to better understand the spread of COVID-19. Evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to experience any COVID-19 infection, including “asymptomatic” infection, when compared to people who haven’t had the COVID-19 vaccine.
Asymptomatic refers to when you are infected but do not experience any symptoms of illness – but might still spread COVID-19. Until experts know more, you should still follow precautions to make sure you do not spread COVID-19.
Once I am fully vaccinated, how soon can I safely visit friends and family?
Once you are fully vaccinated, you should still be careful around friends and family who have not received the vaccine. Experts are working to determine when we can safely stop wearing masks and physically distancing in specific settings.
The CDC has created guidance for fully vaccinated people, which can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html.
Remember that you should still wear a mask and practice physical distancing when in public, even after you have been fully vaccinated!
VA Program Information
Keep an eye out for more answers to your COVID-19 and vaccine questions, and remember to follow good health habits in the meantime. To keep it simple, follow the three Ws: wear your masks, wash your hands, and watch your distance from others!
To learn more, you can review CDC information about COVID-19 and vaccination.