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What happens after I get vaccinated? Do I still have to follow the State's safety rules and guidelines?
All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in New Jersey are proven safe and highly effective, and are the surest way we can end this pandemic. If you are fully vaccinated, you can participate in many of the activities that you did before the pandemic. However, face masks are strongly recommended in indoor settings where there is increased risk.
Fully vaccinated individuals:
- Do not need to quarantine after having close contact with someone with COVID-19, as long as they remain asymptomatic – exceptions exist for individuals living in high-risk congregate settings that can be found in NJ DOH's recommended minimum quarantine time frames
- Do not need to quarantine or get tested before/after domestic travel unless otherwise required by their destination
- Do not need to wear masks at small private gatherings, such as at their homes with family and friends
- Do not need to wear masks outdoors
Due to metrics trending in the wrong direction and new data that suggests the Delta variant is more transmissible even among vaccinated individuals, face masks are strongly recommended for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in indoor settings where there is increased risk, including:
- Crowded indoor settings
- Indoor settings involving activities with close contact with others who may not be fully vaccinated
- Indoor settings where the vaccine status of other individuals in the setting is unknown
- Where an individual is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease
Social distancing, masking, and other safety measures are still required in high-risk areas such as healthcare settings, public transportation, child care centers, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters.
In addition, businesses may continue to require face coverings for employees, customers, and guests. Businesses are not permitted to restrict the use of face masks by their staff, customers, or visitors.
The majority of State offices open to the public, including New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission locations, continue to require masking of staff and visitors.
As no vaccine is 100% effective, people must balance preventive actions to reduce possible transmission and maintain safety. People who have a weakened immune system should discuss whether they should continue precautions with their healthcare provider.
Though the risk of disease may be minimal to the fully vaccinated people themselves, they should be mindful of their potential risk of transmitting the virus to others if they become infected, especially if they are visiting with unvaccinated people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 or who have unvaccinated people at increased risk for severe disease in their own households.
Fully vaccinated individuals should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if they have been around someone who is sick. If vaccinated individuals test positive for COVID-19, they should isolate and stay at home for 10 days.
It's important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions.
The combination of COVID-19 vaccination and continued precautions to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.