Farheen Raza has missed so many milestones. It had been 15 months of separation from her mother, father, grandmother and brother. She did the best she could to stay connected from North Texas.
“And even though we had facetime and all of those things, it’s just not the same, you know. Seeing those people in front of you,” said Raza.
On Monday, though, she spoke to us virtually from Boston. She felt comfortable traveling there to visit since all adults in her immediate family are fully vaccinated.
New CDC guidelines say fully vaccinated people can meet with others indoors without masks or social distancing. Officials say a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine. About 31 million Americans — or only about 9% of the U.S. population — have been fully vaccinated with a federally authorized COVID-19 vaccine so far, according to the CDC.
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The CDC did not change its recommendations on travel, which discourages unnecessary travel and calls for getting tested within a few days of the trip. The new guidance also says nothing about going to restaurants or other places, even though some governors are lifting restrictions on businesses.
“If parents have been vaccinated, they can visit their daughter and her family even if they have not been vaccinated so long as the daughter and her family are not at risk for severe disease,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
Raza, who is pregnant, said the recent recommendations are a huge sigh of relief. She said being fully vaccinated has given her a new perspective, and new beginning with those she loves most.
“The baby is due in June and I’m very comfortable asking my mom to come and help me out, and she’s like, ‘yeah I’m vaccinated so I can come no worries,’” she said. “I think this time had made people realize, what can you miss out? I’m not a big person to take pictures with my family but this trip I’m taking pictures galore because you never know.”
Walensky said more activities would be ok'd for vaccinated individuals once caseloads and deaths decline, more Americans are vaccinated, and as more science emerges on the ability of those who have been vaccinated to get and spread the virus.