Do I need to quarantine after I am vaccinated? -- Answer to this and more COVID-19 vaccine questions

Just over a year after the COVID-19 pandemic started in the United States, vaccines are being administered across the nation.

Currently, there are three vaccines approved for use. Health officials and leaders have said that getting people fully vaccinated is key to ending the pandemic.

What does fully vaccinated mean?

A person is considered fully vaccinated if it has been 14 or more days since they received the last dose of the vaccine. So, this means two weeks after you get the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot or two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna shots.

How long do I need to wait to get the second COVID-19 vaccine?

If you are receiving a two-dose vaccine, there is a waiting period between the first and second doses. For Pfizer, it is about 21 days. For Moderna, it is about 28 days.

How long does it take to be fully vaccinated?

If you receive the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after you get the shot.

More: Where are the most COVID-19 outbreaks in Michigan?

If you get the Pfizer vaccine, there is a 21-day period between the first and second doses. If you get the second dose exactly three weeks after the first one, you will be considered fully vaccinated five weeks after the first dose.

If you receive the Moderna vaccine, there is a 28-day waiting period between the first and second dose, so it will take a week longer to be fully vaccinated.

Do I need to quarantine after I am vaccinated?

According to the CDC, if you are exposed to a person infected with COVID, you do not need to quarantine if you are fully vaccinated and show no symptoms. 

However, if you are not fully vaccinated or have symptoms, you need to quarantine, meaning that you would need to if the exposure happens within the two weeks after receiving the second dose or you are feeling ill.

Can I still get COVID-19 if I am fully vaccinated?

Yes. While health experts say the chances of getting COVID after being vaccinated are rare, it can still happen.

Related: Why are vaccinated people still getting COVID-19?

The Pfizer vaccine is considered 95% effective and the Moderna vaccine is considered 94% effective, while clinical trials showed the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be just over 66% effective.

Despite the chance of getting sick when you are vaccinated, health officials said these infections tend to be milder.

Related: Of 1.7M fully vaccinated in Michigan, 246 have tested positive for COVID-19

Which vaccine should I get?

The CDC said people should get whichever vaccine is available to them. All three vaccines are considered safe and effective.

What kind of activities can I resume once I am fully vaccinated?

If you are fully vaccinated, the CDC said you can attend a private gathering with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask. You can also visit with one other household of unvaccinated people without a mask as long as no one is considered high-risk.

Read More: Are COVID-19 vaccines working despite case spike in Michigan?

You also can travel within the U.S. without a COVID test before or after your trip, and you do not need to quarantine when you return.

Additionally, depending on the destination, you can travel internationally without a pre-trip COVID test, and you do not need to quarantine when you return.

Can I gather with non-vaccinated people?

Yes, you can gather with one unvaccinated household as long as none of those people are considered high-risk.

What kind of symptoms can I expect from the vaccine?

You may experience pain, swelling, and redness on the arm where you received the shot. You may also feel tired, have muscle pain, a headache, muscle pain, chills, a fever, or nausea. Your lymph nodes may also swell.

More: Swollen lymph nodes after COVID-19 vaccine mean it is working

The side effects may be worse after the second vaccine.

Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine in Michigan?

People 16 and older are eligible for a vaccine in Michigan.

When and which kids can get what vaccine? 

Pfizer and Moderna are conducting trials to see how the vaccines will work for children. According to WebMD, children older than 12 may be able to get the vaccine by the fall. However, younger children may not be able to get it until late this year or next year. 

The exact timeline depends on trial results and when the CDC decides to authorize its use for children.

Where can I get the vaccine?

Many pharmacies, clinics, and pop-up vaccine sites are available. There is also a mass vaccine site at Ford Field and the TCF Center in Detroit.

Click here to find a vaccine near you.