After you receive the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, what can you safely do? An infectious disease specialist answers your questions.
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Once you receive the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, does this mean you are free to go about your life as you did before the coronavirus pandemic? ABC7 checked in with Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Umber Chohan from Kaiser Permanente to find out.
Do I still need to wear a mask?
Dr. Chohan said that the CDC recommends that vaccinated folks still wear a mask.
"The reason behind that is that no vaccine is 100% effective," Dr. Chohan said. "There's still a small chance that you could get infected."
When can I see my friends and family again?
"Before we advise people to do that, we want to be sure that it's safe for people to do so," Dr. Chohan said. "We really need to advise people to get vaccinated."
Dr. Chohan said that a vaccine does not yet exist for children, so gathering with kids could be risky.
If you're planning to gather, Dr. Chohan recommends being outside instead of inside.
"Inside, you have really poor ventilation and so there's more chances to spread COVID-19," Dr. Chohan said.
Can you still catch COVID-19 and infect others?
"Yes. It takes up to two weeks after you get your second dose to build full immunity," Dr. Dr. Chohan said. "If you're exposed to COVID-19, either just before or just after the vaccination, you could get sick from COVID-19."
How long does immunity last?
Dr. Chohan said that experts do not yet know how long immunity from a COVID-19 vaccine lasts.
"We are hoping that the immunity lasts for at least two to three years," Dr. Chohan said.
Should I travel if I've been vaccinated?
"We do not recommend people travel unless it's absolutely necessary," Dr. Chohan said.
If you do plan to travel, Dr. Chohan said to be sure to wear a mask, choose seats as far apart from one another as possible and practice good hand hygiene.
Once it's an option, is it safe to eat at a restaurant indoors or attend sports events or concerts?
"Right now, I would recommend to avoid both of these situations," Dr. Chohan said. "You really want to avoid crowds and you want to avoid any close contact with people who are outside your immediate household."