ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WKBW) — Two weeks after you you receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC says you no longer have to quarantine after travel or exposure.
"If you've been afebrile, then you don't have to quarantine. Those are the CDC guidelines right now. Still wear your mask, still social distance, still hand wash, but you don't have to quarantine," Dr. Raul Vazquez, a physician at Urban Family Practice, said.
Afebrile means not feverish.
But New York State has not updated its quarantine policies to reflect the CDC's recommendations. The state has left the decision to individual counties.
"The benefit of course is that we can get these individuals back to work and back to what they're doing and being productive in our community and in our society," Dr. Thomas Russo, professor and chief of Infectious Disease at the at University at Buffalo's Jacobs School of Medicine, said.
"[Researchers] saw an antibody response to the actual vaccine at two weeks. That's when you see the full effect. It's reaching it's peak two weeks after that second vaccine," Dr. Vazquez said.
Right now, fully vaccinated individuals are exempt from quarantine for 90 days.
"That's because our trial data to date shows that protecting is afforded for at least 90 days. I expect that 90 day mark will be a moving target as we move forward. It's absolutely critical for people not to interpret this as our vaccine is only good for 90 days," Dr. Russo said.
The CDC said there are exceptions to the new quarantine guidance. Fully vaccinated hospitalized persons and residents of healthcare settings still have to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19.
"Remember, the hospitals are hot spots. Anyone that has COVID ends up there. That's not the case out in the field. They have all the dynamics for this virus to really jump around," Dr. Vazquez said.
The Niagara County Health Director told 7 Eyewitness News they are working on changing their quarantine policies for those fully vaccinated. A decision is expected in the next week.