By Mar-Vic Cagurangan
CDC: fully vaccinated persons may skip quarantine
Updated: Feb 17, 2021
Fully vaccinated persons will no longer be required to quarantine if they are exposed to someone with Covid-19, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's updated guidance.
Fully immunized are those who have completed both shots of either Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.
"Either of the currently authorized mRNA Covid-19 vaccines can be used when indicated; ACIP does not state a product preference," CDC states on its website.
"However, these mRNA Covid-19 vaccines are not interchangeable with each other or with other Covid-19 vaccine products. The safety and efficacy of a mixed-product series have not been evaluated. Both doses of the series should be completed with the same product."
The governor's office said no amendments will be to the current policy at this point.
"Requirements and protocols are status quo as we review this very new recommendation and how it would translate locally," Communications Director Krystal Paco-San Agustin said.
Currently, Guam has administered 38,296 vaccine shots. Of this total, 10,593 have completed their full sets. Guam has set a goal to immunize 80 percent of the island's population by July 21, Liberation Day.
Covid-19 tests over the past three months have indicated that community transmission on Guam has been slowing down. Three of 533 tests were confirmed positive on Wednesday.
To date, there have been a total of 7,686 officially reported cases of Covid-19 with 130 deaths, 89 cases in active isolation, and 7,467 not in active isolation.
Last month, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero petitioned the Supreme Court of Guam to put the brakes on judicial intervention in coronavirus-linked health policies, invoking her executive mandate to implement quarantine and isolation protocols during a public health crisis.
The petition was a follow-up to a previous plea filed in December, in which the governor asked the court to uphold the Department of Public Health and Social Services' authority to implement a quarantine policy that is tailored for Guam without being locked into the CDC's guidance.
CDC said while fully vaccinated people may skip quarantine, that does not mean that they should stop taking precautions.
"While mRNA Covid-19 vaccines have demonstrated high efficacy at preventing severe and symptomatic Covid-19, there is currently limited information on how much the vaccines might reduce transmission and how long protection lasts," CDC said.
" In addition, the efficacy of the vaccines against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants is not known. At this time, vaccinated persons should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others, including wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly ventilated spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, following CDC travel guidance, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance, including guidance related to personal protective equipment use or SARS-CoV-2 testing."
CDC said those who have not been vaccinated or have not received their second shots should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed Covid-19.
Currently, children and adolescents are not authorized to receive Covid-19 vaccination.
"Although the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from vaccinated persons to others is still uncertain, vaccination has been demonstrated to prevent symptomatic Covid-19; symptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission is thought to have a greater role in transmission than purely asymptomatic transmission," CDC said.
"Additionally, individual and societal benefits of avoiding unnecessary quarantine may outweigh the potential but unknown risk of transmission, and facilitate the direction of public health resources to persons at highest risk for transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to others. This recommendation to waive quarantine for people with vaccine-derived immunity aligns with quarantine recommendations for those with natural immunity, which eases implementation."