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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 have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19, but fully vaccinated individuals must still follow most rules and regulations that prevent others from getting COVID-19 because we are still learning how long vaccine protection lasts, how much protection is provided against emerging variants, and how much protection is provided against spreading the virus to others, even if you don't get sick yourself.
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
Note: The State no longer requires face coverings for most indoor public spaces, however institutions may continue to require face coverings for employees, customers, and guests. Face masks remain mandatory on public transportation, and may be required in health care facilities, nursing homes, child care facilities, prisons, and K-12 schools, based on CDC guidance. For more information, refer to Executive Order No. 242.
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.
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.