A year after US COVID-19 lockdowns began, Al Jazeera asked US small businesswomen about challenges and silver linings.
Add travel to the activities vaccinated Americans can enjoy again, according to new United States guidance issued on Friday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance to say fully vaccinated people can travel within the US without getting tested for the coronavirus or going into quarantine afterwards.
Previously, the agency had cautioned against unnecessary travel even for vaccinated people, but noted that it would update its guidance as more people got vaccinated and evidence mounted about the protection the shots provide.
”Every day you get more data, and you change your guidance based on the existing data,” said Dr Ali Khan, dean of the University of Nebraska’s College of Public Health.
Khan said the update reinforces the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines and is another incentive for people to get vaccinated.
According to the CDC, nearly 100 million people in the US – or about 30 percent of the population – have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The White House COVID-19 Response Team announced on Friday that 74 percent of US seniors have received at least one shot and 52 percent of seniors are fully vaccinated.
Here's where we are in our vaccination program as of today:
– 74% of adults 65+ have received at least one shot
– 52% of seniors are fully vaccinated
– Nearly 100 million Americans have received at least one dose
– More than 56 million adults in the U.S. are now fully vaccinated
— White House COVID-19 Response Team (@WHCOVIDResponse) April 2, 2021
A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine.
Unvaccinated people are still advised to avoid unnecessary travel.
The new guidance says:
The CDC cited recent research on the real-world effects of the vaccines for its updated guidance. Already, the agency had said fully vaccinated people could visit with each other indoors without wearing masks or social distancing. It also said vaccinated people could visit with unvaccinated people from a single household under similar conditions, as long as the unvaccinated individuals were at low risk for severe illness if infected.
The US began its vaccine rollout in mid-December. The first vaccines, from Pfizer and Moderna, require two doses taken a few weeks apart. A one-shot vaccine by Johnson & Johnson was given the green light by regulators at the end of February.