What to expect after your COVID-19 vaccination

As more Iowans and individuals across the country become vaccinated against COVID-19, you might wonder about what it means to be fully vaccinated and what you might expect to change.

How can I tell when I'm fully vaccinated?

You'll be fully vaccinated after meeting different criteria based on which vaccine you received. Use Richard, Kate, and Ahmed as examples to determine where you are at in the process:

Illustration of Richard

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

Richard has received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Two doses needed
  • Two doses received
  • Two weeks since second dose
Richard is fully vaccinated

Illustration of Kate speaking

Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccine

Kate has received the Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccine:

  • One dose needed
  • One dose received
  • Two weeks since dose
Kate is fully vaccinated

Illustration of Ahmed

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Ahmed has received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Two doses needed
  • Two doses received
  • Two weeks since second dose
Ahmed is fully vaccinated

You're fully vaccinated–now what?

Illustration of a patient and her doctor after COVID-19 vaccination

It has been more than two weeks since the final dose of your vaccine. What can you do now?

Gather with other vaccinated individuals in small groups

You can now safely gather indoors with other fully vaccinated individuals without wearing masks. You should continue to avoid medium and large group settings.

Two women greeting each other without masks

Gather with unvaccinated people using precautions

You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks.

If any of those people have an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, masks should be worn.

Two people wearing masks and waving at one another

Continue to practice COVID-19 safety precautions in public

You should continue to:

  • Wear your mask and practice social distance:
    • In public places
    • In health care facilities
    • While at work
  • Avoid crowded places while in public
Illustration of a woman wearing a mask while grocery shopping
Last reviewed: 
March 2021

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