The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released interim COVID-19 vaccine considerations. Notably, the guidance states that fully vaccinated individuals who meet certain criteria will no longer be required to quarantine following exposure to someone with COVID-19.
According to the CDC, vaccinated individuals who have been exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:
- Are fully vaccinated (i.e., at least two weeks have passed since receipt of the second dose in a two-dose series, or at least two weeks have passed since receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
- Are within three months of receiving the last dose in the series
- Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure
Those who do not meet all three of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
The CDC stated that, while the risk of COVID-19 transmission from vaccinated individuals is still uncertain, vaccination has been demonstrated to prevent symptomatic COVID-19 cases.
Currently, symptomatic and presymptomatic transmission is thought to have a greater role in transmission than purely asymptomatic transmission. Additionally, the guidance states that individual and societal benefits of avoiding unnecessary quarantine may outweigh the potential but unknown risk of transmission, and facilitate the direction of public health resources to individuals at highest risk for COVID-19 transmission.
This guidance does include an exception for vaccinated inpatients and residents in health care settings, who should continue to quarantine following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
These CDC quarantine recommendations for vaccinated individuals, including the criteria for timing since receipt of the last dose in the vaccination series, will be updated when more data becomes available and additional COVID-19 vaccines are authorized.