CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - As senior citizens across Northeast Ohio are set to be vaccinated this week, many families wonder how long before they can visit their loved ones.
Local doctors warn that families shouldn’t rush, as it takes time for the vaccine to take effect once a person gets both doses.
Doctors say it could be a week or so after a person gets both doses before they can visit with family safely. Many encourage families to wait until they too can get the vaccine.
“Just because your grandmother has had the vaccine and the booster and waited a week doesn’t mean that you want to risk that and bring COVID into her home,” said Dr. Dave Margolius, Division director of Internal Medicine at MetroHealth.
Starting Tuesday, the first group of senior citizens will be vaccinated.
Though a vaccine is up to 95% effective, it’s still unclear if vaccinated people can be carriers of COVID-19.
“I do want to caution folks in that first two to four weeks if you have not yet gotten the vaccine, you are not protected from COVID until you’ve gotten the booster shot and you’ve waited some time,” said Dr. Margolius.
The timeframe depends on which vaccine a person receives.
After the initial dose of the Pfizer vaccine, a person must wait three weeks before receiving the second dose.
For the Moderna vaccine, a person gets the booster after a month. Doctors say it could be 4 to 6 weeks before a person has full protection.
Dr. Hashmi at Cleveland Clinic says since there’s no vaccine for children yet, people should still be cautious. He suggests waiting until everyone gets vaccinated, before getting back to normal family gatherings.
“I know it’s been a long, long haul however patience in terms of getting the vaccine and making sure all parties are well protected,” Dr. Hashmi added.