Mayo Clinic doctor explains new recommendations regarding vaccinated visits with others

The CDC offered interim recommendations Wednesday saying two weeks after you are vaccinated you can start to visit with other fully vaccinated people in your home without a mask.

As part of the recommendations, which officials say are subject to change as more people are vaccinated, you can visit with an unvaccinated family, but only that family.

Dr. Gregory Poland at Mayo Clinic explained how it should work:

"Let's say my wife and I, his grandparents wanted to fly down to see my son, daughter in law and grandchild. None of the three of them would have to be immunized for us to go and visit with them and not wear masks. We could be in their home. Now, if another outside person from another family were to come to that dinner, that is now starting to be considered multiple persons outside of a single household. And in that case, we would wear masks. If my son, daughter-in-law and grandchild, if one of them were high-risk, and non-immunized, we would wear masks."

The reason for this has everything to do with uncertainties about whether vaccinated persons can still spread the virus, the CDC says.

It says a growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection and less likely to transmit the virus to others, but Dr. Poland says the research is still inconclusive, however.

"We don't have good studies about actual transmission," he said. "What we have are decent studies showing decreased viral load in the vaccinated person. The lower the viral load in an infected person, the less likely they transmit that to another person."

Doctors still don’t have proof, however. They just have assumptions based upon current research that shows the vaccines reduce the viral load in a person.

Dr. Poland says the CDC is trying to balance the risk of exposure against the benefits of bringing families back together.