UW Health: Advice on visiting those who’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19

MADISON, Wis. – As more Wisconsinites receive a COVID-19 vaccination, the topic of when it’s safe to visit family and friends comes up frequently.

            As many older Wisconsinites receive the vaccine, we get asked the question of whether those who have not been vaccinated can visit those who have?

            It’s a good question, according to Dr. Matt Anderson, senior medical director, primary care, UW Health, and there is no easy answer.

            “The COVID-19 vaccine protects most individuals from contracting the virus, and for those few who do still become infected it protects them from more serious illness,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s uncertain whether the vaccines protect someone from being a carrier of the virus, so there is still a risk of infecting those who visit or of contracting the virus themselves.”

            Before planning a visit it’s important to have an honest conversation about it in advance to make sure everyone understands the risks. At this time, the safest thing to do is refrain from visiting those outside your household. However, here are a few things to consider when weighing a visit to someone who has been vaccinated:

  • Full benefits of vaccination do not occur until at least one week after the second vaccine dose
  • It is best for each party to quarantine prior to a visit
  • Testing prior to a visit may lower risk, but does not guarantee someone is not infected
  • Risk can be lowered by maintaining physical distancing and wearing a well-fitting mask during the visit