What Seniors Can Expect After Being Fully Vaccinated for COVID-19

Aug 9, 2022

A lot has changed in the world since the COVID-19 pandemic began. People have drastically changed their habits, from opting for curbside pickups to avoiding restaurants and working from home. One of the most difficult changes people have had to make is avoiding gatherings—including with family and friends.

Now that effective vaccines are in use and many adults have gotten their shot in the arm, people are anxious to know when life can return to normal. Does getting a vaccine mean regular activities can take place again? Read on to learn more about what to expect after you’ve been fully vaccinated.

Knowing You’re Fully Vaccinated

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine will get you well on your way to being protected from the virus, but the first shot in the arm isn’t the end of the road yet. If you are getting the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, you will need two doses. If you receive the Johnson & Johnson shot, you will only need one. You will be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after you have received all the required doses.

Watching for COVID-19 Symptoms

The COVID-19 vaccines are quite effective, but there is a small chance a fully vaccinated person could still be infected. If illness does occur after vaccination, evidence suggests vaccines can prevent severe symptoms. If you do experience symptoms of COVID-19, be sure to talk to your doctor about testing, treatment, and isolating yourself.

Keeping Up Safeguards

Millions of people have been vaccinated in the United States, so it’s understandable that the urge to throw away masks is strong. Stick with the COVID-19 prevention measures for the time being, however. While progress is being made, it will take time to achieve herd immunity. Experts also do not know whether vaccinated individuals can still spread COVID-19 without symptoms. Wear a mask in public, wash your hands, and practice social distancing.

“Everyone is eager to get back to normal life and spend time with friends and family,” says Sarah Hilton, a registered nurse. “Make sure to follow any recommended precautions, even if you have been vaccinated.”

Getting Together with Friends

You’ve been waiting a long time to enjoy dinner parties, go to the movies, and just hug your grandkids again. Now that you’ve been fully vaccinated, you surely want to find out just how much longer you have to wait. You can’t jump back into regular life just yet, but there is a lot you can do now, especially if your friends and family have been vaccinated as well.

If you want to get together with a group of vaccinated friends, feel free to take off the masks and talk the night away. You also don’t need a mask if you’re getting together with unvaccinated people from a single household, as long as they aren’t at risk for severe illness. So, even though your grandkids may not have gotten a vaccine yet, there’s a good chance you can hang out with them again. Recommendations may change often, so keep an eye on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Getting a vaccine is the best way to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it will still take some time to get completely back to normal, getting fully vaccinated will help protect from serious illness and get communities closer to herd immunity.