Updated: April 10, 2021 07:00 PM
Created: April 10, 2021 02:37 PM
More than 1.9 million Minnesotans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccinations as the state continues its efforts to ramp up distribution.
But many people still have questions about what they can do once they're fully vaccinated and what they should hold off on. 5 EYEWITNES NEWS talked to Dr. Frank Rhame, an infectious disease physician at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, to help clear up some of these uncertainties.
"There are things you can now safely do. For instance, if you get an exposure, you don't have to quarantine yourself unless you get symptoms. You can have an unlimited number of friends over who are vaccinated, as long as they don't have symptoms,” Rhame said.
He also said travel will change for people who are fully vaccinated. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say people who are fully immunized can travel without worry and do not need to quarantine when they get back from their trip. Health experts still encourage mask-wearing, social distancing and avoiding large crowds.
As more Americans get fully vaccinated, some countries, states and airlines are considering requiring a vaccine passport, or proof that you’ve gotten your shot.
One example, New York recently launched the Excelsior Pass, a digital app where participating businesses can verify proof a person’s vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test. Venues like Madison Square Garden have announced they’ll begin using this technology.
But, Rhame said this is where the debate can become heated as many Americans are concerned about privacy when it comes to vaccine passports.
"One problem here is there are people who have legitimate medical reasons to not get vaccinated. If you have had an anaphylactic reaction to a vaccine or if you've had an anaphylactic reaction to the first dose, you should not get the second dose. So there are going to be people who are legitimately not vaccinated and do you want to disadvantage them when they basically couldn't get vaccinated," Rhame said.
Both White House officials and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz have said they have no plans to adopt a federal or statewide vaccine passports. But, Rhames believes they may become more common as society shifts into a new way of life with vaccines becoming widely accessible.
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