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So you had your Covid vaccine. What can you do safely now?

Those who are vaccinated still need to be on their guard. Experts advise on social etiquette

More than 33 million people in the UK have already received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while a quarter of adults – just over 13.2 million people – have received both doses. As more people around the world join this exclusive “fully vaccinated” club, it raises questions about whether they can ignore some of the rules on social interactions and how they should behave with unvaccinated friends and family. Here is an expert etiquette guide for the newly vaccinated.

Do not assume that you are protected until you have received both doses

This week, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that “fully vaccinated” people could meet indoors with other vaccinated individuals, without masks or physical distance. He considers people to be fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving a second dose. Before that, you must have some protection – but not so much that you can afford to let your guard down.

Read Also: An analysis of why Atlantic Canada excels in slowing the spread of COVID-19

Even after taking two doses, you are not invincible

Covid rules illustration
Source: Theguardian

Although Covid vaccines are highly effective in preventing serious illness and death, “it would be wrong for anyone to think that, because they are fully vaccinated, that means they are totally safe from the virus,” said Gabriel Scally, visiting professor of public health at the University from Bristol. “They can certainly get the disease and get symptoms, and they can still pass it on.”

The degree of transmission is still unclear, but according to new data from Public Health England, people who were infected at least three weeks after the first dose of the vaccine were 38-49% less likely to transmit the virus to others in their homes compared to unvaccinated individuals. Transmission still occurred in some cases, however.

It is unlikely that hugging another vaccinated person kills you – but it can prolong the pandemic

The CDC’s board suggests that it is safe for two fully vaccinated people to hug, but others advise caution. The more the virus is transferred, the more likely it is that we will see the emergence and spread of new variants that can make vaccines less effective and that these variants will mutate further.

“It’s great that vaccines have an impact on transmission, because it means that once you immunize enough people, you can reduce transmission, but on an individual level, it just doesn’t work,” said Prof Adam Finn, of the Bristol Center for Vaccines for Children. “Older people [vaccinated] can kiss everyone based on the fact that it is highly unlikely that they will get seriously ill and die. But if they want to end the pandemic, they need to continue to take precautions like everyone else. “

If you hug, watch out for local infection rates

Close physical contact is likely to be safer if the number of infections in your local area is low. Places like Shetland and Western Isles recorded zero cases of Covid last week, while infection rates in Derry City and Strabane, and Kirklees in West Yorkshire, currently stand at 83 and 72 cases per 100,000 people, respectively. “If you are in the Western Isles, it would be safe to embrace, but that is not necessarily true everywhere,” said Scally.

It’s also worth considering where you’ve been and who you’ve seen in the past few days. If you were very sociable, you are more likely to be infected.

Covid Rules Hug
Source: Theguardian

Do not assume that your colleagues have been vaccinated just because you

“Often, in conversations, you find that the people you would assume would be vaccinated have reservations, and some people are not sharing whether they were vaccinated or not,” said Dr. Nilufar Ahmed, a behavioral psychologist at the University of Bristol.

Read Also: Record above 2.45 cr for Covid Phase 3 vaccination

Internal family reunions should be treated with caution

If you are sure that everyone has been fully vaccinated, a small group of you can meet inside the home with relative impunity. However, you should be more careful when mixing with unvaccinated family members or friends. In Wales, this mixture will be allowed from 3 May. The CDC advises the use of a mask in such situations. Physical distance and ventilation also reduce risks.

It’s okay to insist that everyone do a quick Covid test as a precaution

Lateral flow tests twice a week have been implemented across England. Asking people to take one before meeting at social gatherings can further reduce the risks. “For some people, this may be seen as rude, but for others, it is the kind of guarantee that may be needed,” said Ahmed.

For internal public meetings, physical distance and masks are still essential

With larger crowds, the risks of transmission are amplified. Therefore, it is essential that people dress up and remain physically distant in indoor public spaces, such as shops, places of worship and theaters (when open). If everyone in the audience or congregation were fully vaccinated, the risk of transmission would be greatly reduced – but not entirely eliminated.

For internal public meetings, physical distance and masks are still essential

With larger crowds, the risks of transmission are amplified. Therefore, it is essential that people mask and remain physically distant in indoor public spaces, such as shops, places of worship and theaters (when open). If everyone in the audience or congregation were fully vaccinated, the risk of transmission would be greatly reduced – but not entirely eliminated.

International travel is still risky for everyone

“International travel to regions with a high incidence of Covid-19 should be treated with great caution, as this poses a credible risk of importing new coronavirus variants of concern into the UK,” said Prof Neil Mabbott, president of immunopathology at Edinburgh University.

“If a fully vaccinated person were infected, symptomatically or asymptomatic, with one of these variants when traveling abroad, they could bring him to the UK, where he could have the potential to infect unvaccinated and fully vaccinated individuals.”

Outdoors is still safer, but wear a mask if you’re busy

Many are looking forward to the return of outdoor events, but overcrowded spaces are still risky. The CDC recommends that even fully vaccinated people wear masks at crowded outdoor events, such as live performances, parades or sporting events. It is also worth considering how people arrived at these events and whether this may have caused overcrowding in public transport, said Mabbott.

Just because your older relatives have been beaten doesn’t mean you don’t have to be

Younger people are less susceptible to serious illness and death from coronavirus, but many still end up in the hospital or develop “long Covid”. “There are many young people who, although they are only slightly ill, are very affected for a long time,” said Finn. Even if you think you once had Covid, you can be infected again.

Then there is the risk that you pose to others. How many people need to be vaccinated to achieve collective immunity is still uncertain, but the fewer people who accept the offer of a vaccine, the more problems will be proven later. “As long as you approach half the adult population that is not immune, you have the machinery for another big wave, and when that wave happens, it will find vulnerable people and kill them,” said Finn. “It may not be your grandmother, but it will be someone else’s grandmother.”