Is It Safe To Eat Indoors After Getting The COVID-19 Vaccine?

People are itching for life to return to normal and the way things were in the days before the COVID-19 pandemic. That means a lot is riding on the vaccine, with people hoping it stops the rampant spread of the coronavirus. But once you get the vaccine is it safe to return to all the activities you previously enjoyed? For example, can you eat indoors again after being vaccinated?

Leading infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, M.D., addressed this in a meeting with the White House press corps, according to Business Insider. He warned against relaxing our vigilance too much in our desire to get things back to normal. "There are things, even if you're vaccinated, that you're not going to be able to do in society," he said. "For example, indoor dining, theaters, places where people congregate," should continue to be avoided, was his message.

That's because there is not enough data yet on how well the vaccine works to prevent someone from transmitting COVID-19. It is known to prevent someone from getting severely ill if they do contract COVID-19, but it remains unknown whether they can pass it along to others. "We hope that when the data comes in, it's going to show that the virus level is quite low and you're not transmitting it," said Dr. Fauci.

Much remains unknown about the vaccines

Indoor restaurants are particularly dangerous because nobody is wearing a mask while they're eating. Even after getting the vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still advising that you wear a mask to protect against spreading the virus to others, even if you don't fall sick from it.

A key thing to remember when you get the vaccine is that you're not immediately protected against the virus. It takes several days — up to a few weeks, according to the Mayo Clinic — for your body to produce the immune response that protects you from COVID-19. During this time, you're still susceptible to contracting the virus. The vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer are 95 percent effective against coronavirus, according to CNN, but that still leaves a chance open that you could contract it and get sick or spread it to others.

And the virus is mutating into different variants around the world. It is still unknown how much, if any, protection against these variants is offered by the current vaccines.

So, for now, stay vigilant, wear your masks, and avoid crowds and indoor spaces. It won't be forever, and it's for the good of all.